(NYT) Some cardinals have a list of qualities they want in the next pope: an eager evangelist, master communicator, and deft administrator, with an ear for languages and a heart for the developing world.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan says he has a simpler, albeit perhaps even tougher, criterion: he wants the next pope to be like Jesus.
â€œI hope you believe me, and I hope you believe Iâ€™m not being dismissive: you always look for somebody that reminds you of Jesus,â€™â€™ he said Sunday, speaking to reporters after celebrating Mass at St. Patrickâ€™s Cathedral
â€œNow weâ€™re all supposed to do that â€” anybody who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ,â€™â€™ said Cardinal Dolan, who is the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York. â€œBut you look for somebody who just seems to radiate the love and the tenderness, the mercy, the truth of Jesus Christ.â€
Dressed in purple vestments for Lent and holding a golden crozier adorned with a carving of a lamb, Cardinal Dolan said he believed the last few popes had met that standard.
â€œIn my recent memory, the Holy Spiritâ€™s not let us down, because the popes with whom weâ€™ve been blessed have been a great icon of Jesus Christ, and Iâ€™m confident that the next one will be as well,â€™â€™ he said.
The Mass on Sunday was his last at St. Patrickâ€™s before he departs for Rome on Tuesday; on Thursday, he plans to greet Pope Benedict XVI for the last time before the pope retires that evening, and then Cardinal Dolan will spend the next few weeks meeting with his fellow cardinals and choosing the next pope.
â€œBelieve me, everybody, Iâ€™m doing a lot of praying,â€™â€™ he said, standing before the cathedralâ€™s large Pieta. â€œIâ€™m praying a lot that Iâ€™ll have the guidance and gift of the Holy Spirit to make the right decision, because this is one of the most awesome responsibilities a cardinal could ever have.â€
For the second day in a row, Cardinal Dolan dismissed Italian news reports suggesting that an unreleased Vatican investigation into leaks of church information might have influenced the popeâ€™s decision to retire. He said he believed the popeâ€™s retirement was â€œnot about his prerogatives, his office, his prominence â€” itâ€™s about service to our lord and his churchâ€ and that â€œall this other speculation, I think itâ€™s just that â€” speculation.â€ [More]