VATICAN CITY, April 5, 2005 -- Never has Rome been so filled with words, and yet so silent. Never have so many major world news organizations devoted so much time and energy to chronicling, minute by minute, the events surrounding the death and funeral of a Pope.Full NewsFlash Article here.
And never have such crowds of people waited in a line on the via della Conciliazione to enter St. Peter's Basilica.
During the evening, by chance, I met Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud walking on via della Conciliazione with two of his assistants. I asked him a question which the BBC had asked me earlier in the day, and I had been unable to answer: "What other decisions did the cardinals make today?"
"To speak with one voice," he said. "That is, to refer all questions to Monsignor Marini (the Master of Papal Ceremonies under John Paul II)."
Earlier in the day, I had been received by Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Germany. Meisner had not attended the morning meeting of the cardinals. We met at 4 p.m. in the very simple pension where he is staying, just near the offices of Inside the Vatican magazine.
...the Pope also became very critical of Western societies, Meisner said.
"I made two great intellectual errors in my life," he said. "The first was thinking that communism would end only after 100 years; the second was thinking that when communism fell, all our problems would be solved. That has proven false."
He said, "Western hedonism, as communism, will also someday collapse, and perhaps even quite soon, in four weeks."
Then he spoke about the task he now faces, of entering a Conclave and choosing a successor to Pope John Paul. "Until the death of the Pope, I refused to speculate about a possible successor, out of respect for the Holy Father. Yesterday, I began to think. There are two things I know for certain: that it won't be me, and that it will be someone else. The one I have in mind is as intelligent as a dozen professors and as devout as a child receiving its first communion." (my emphasis).
Monday, April 04, 2005
What Are Some Cardinals Thinking About?
From an Inside the Vatican Newsflash