Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor enters Conclave
posted on 17 April 2005
The Archbishop of Westminster has entered the Conclave to choose the successor to John Paul II. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is one of 115 cardinal-electors who are expected this week to appoint the new pope.
Yesterday (Sunday) he arrived at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Earlier in the day, he asked people 'to pray that the cardinals have the help of the Holy Spirit's gifts of wisdom and discernment'.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor made the remarks in a response to a toast to him yesterday by the Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome, where the Cardinal was staying before he entered the Conclave.
'Whoever comes out on that balcony will be Peter for the bishops, for the Church and for the world,' the Cardinal said following a lunch at the College which was attended by seminarians and invited guests.
On Sunday morning the Cardinal presided at the 10 am Mass at the College's Martyrs' Chapel. He said the cardinals had had 15 days 'fruitful and prayerful' discussions in the daily General Congregation meetings, which came to an end yesterday.
He said he had been moved by the intervention of an African cardinal who had spoken of the challenges of 'aggressive Islam, Aids, poverty and wars' in that continent.
The Church had to remain focussed on Jesus Christ - 'our leader and our strength', the Cardinal said, adding: 'We need not be afraid, even when we are sorely afflicted, because Christ will always be with his Church'.
He asked the Congregation to 'pray for the cardinals, who now have the very great responsibility of electing the successor to John Paul II'.