Brady hopes next pope will continue ecumenism
The Catholic Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady has indicated that he does not consider himself a possible successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
The Archbishop of Armagh, who will play a part in electing the next pontiff, said he would use the time ahead to reflect on how he might vote before travelling to Rome next month for the conclave of cardinals.
Asked what his response would be were he prevailed upon to be next pope, Cardinal Brady replied: “I don’t think that eventuality is likely to arise.”
Cardinal Brady (73) said that cardinals aged under 80 would have a vote at the conclave in March and that he would meditate on his responsibility during the coming weeks.
“In the next four or five weeks, I will be reflecting with all the other cardinals. And I ask the prayers of all people of goodwill for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for those who would have the immense responsibility of choosing the successor to Pope Benedict,” he said.
‘Child sex abuse’
Asked would the incoming pontiff be able to “wipe the slate clean” in relation to scandals of clerical child sex abuse, Cardinal Brady replied that as far back as 2006, Pope Benedict was giving clear direction that the truth was to be established and victims cared for and justice done for all.
He hoped the successor would continue to address that issue and other problems such “as the eclipse of God in the consciousness of so many people . . . the tyranny of relativism, the forgetting of God”, and that he would also carry on Pope Benedict’s process of evangelisation.
Cardinal Brady said what he hoped to see in the next pope was a “man who would continue the work of announcing Jesus Christ to the world as God’s love.
“The revelation of God’s love; a man who will emphasise that the second after the profession of faith the most important thing is charity, is love of the oppressed.”
Cardinal Brady also expressed the hope that the next pope would continue to place emphasis on ecumenism and dialogue with other world religions and be a leader who would continue to “denounce the scandal of war and poverty in the world”.
Not that surprising
Cardinal Brady initially spoke of his “shock” at the pope’s retirement announcement, but he then said that on reflection perhaps it was not that surprising.
“He is the man who has the courage to take decisions like that. With typical humility, courage and love for the church, he has clearly come to the view that the Lord now wants him to devote the rest of his physical and spiritual energies in serving the church in prayer.
“I think this is a profound act of humility. . . in a time of great challenge for the church and for faith in the modern world.”
Cardinal Brady said he last met Pope Benedict in Rome in November when the pope offered his congratulations for the success of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.
He also met him in October and while his movements were “quite feeble, his thinking and speaking and endurance were quite strong.”
Cardinal Brady said the pope had left a “great legacy” in bringing Catholics “back to basics”