MANY Filipino priests and bishops are hoping that Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who is second among the youngest cardinals, will have an equal chance to be elected as the next pope.
The 117 Cardinals from all over the world, including Tagle, will arrive Thursday and start converging in the Vatican for the conclave, an election of a new Pope after Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation takes effect Thursday, February 28, 2013.
Msgr. Rey Manuel Monsanto, vicar general of the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and parish priest of Nazareno Church, said all Cardinals are candidates as anyone of them can be elected.
“Normally, cardinals will vote according to the needs and problems of the church so the Cardinals will be guided also by those needs and problems,” Monsanto told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Monsanto also believes that Tagle possesses the general qualities like all other cardinals as a proof that Pope Benedict XVI made him a cardinal.
“We cannot really go ahead of the Holy Spirit. All we do is pray that the cardinal-electors will listen to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
Lingayen-Dagupan Emeritus Archbishop Oscar Cruz also believes that Tagle has an equal chance to be elected as much as other cardinal-electors have.
Cruz said Pope John Paul was elected when he was 58 years old and Tagle is now 56.
“Of course, most of the cardinals will elect those whom they know because they are already aware of his qualifications, capacity and has proven his ability. As far as age is concerned, the cardinal is 56 and when John Paul II was elected Pope, he was 58 at that time, so there is no problem with the age,” Cruz said in a report.
Pope Benedict will travel around St Peter’s Square in the popemobile to greet the public before he will meet all the cardinals, including those who have traveled to Rome just to have a glimpse of the Pope.
Fr. Federico Lombardini, Vatican spokesperson, in an article, said each cardinal will have a chance to greet the Pope personally in the Clementine Hall during a meeting on Thursday at 11 a.m.
“Pope Benedict XVI will meet with the Vatican’s Secretary of State at 5 p.m. and will travel by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo where he will greet locals at the square and be received by the town’s mayor and the parish priest,” the report said. (Abigail Chee Kee Malalis)