Pope meets Cardinals in Vatican

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to celebrate mass tomorrow for pontiff

A picture of Pope Francis in a souvenir shop near the Vatican today. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

A picture of Pope Francis in a souvenir shop near the Vatican today. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters


Patsy McGarry, in Rome

This morning Pope Francis met most of the 206 members of the College of Cardinals at the Vatican's Clementine Hall. Some were absent due to ill health. Included were cardinals over 80 as well as the 115 under 80 who participated in the conclave this week.

Pope Francis entrusted his ministry, and that of thecardinals, to the protection of Mary, Mother of the Church. Noting that the great majority of the cardinals were not you men he spoke about the duty of those of advanced years to pass on what they know to younger generations."Old age is the seat of life's wisdom. People who are wise go a long way - like old Simeon in the Temple, who met Jesus," he said.

"We need to hand on this wisdom to young people. Wisdom is like good wine that matures with age. A German poet said 'old age is a time of peace and prayer'. We need to hand on this wisdom to the young," he said.

In Dublin tomorrow evening Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will celebratea Mass of Thanksgiving for the election of Pope Francis 1t 6 p.m. in the Pro Cathedral. He has asked that priests of the archdiocese also celebrate Mass for the election of the new Pope over coming days.

Meanwhile Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has asked for God's blessing on Pope Francis. "This is a turning point in the life of the Roman Catholic Church, but it also has an impact on people of other churches and faiths. Together with this humble pilgrim of the church, who has lived a simple lifestyle and reflects a passion for social justice and lifting up the poor, we reaffirm our commitment to seeking justice and peace. We look forward to our continued engagement with the Catholic Church," he said

The WCC and the Catholic Church were "pilgrims together in the one ecumenical movement", he said. "We are delighted to greet a pope from Argentina, the first pope from the Global South. Today the vast majority of Christians live in the Global South. The growth of Christianity in the South is likely to continue. This shift has already had an important impact on world Christianity," he said.