April 07, 2005

Cardinals gathering for funeral, conclave

The Catholic New World

Within hours of the April 2 death of Pope John Paul II, cardinals from around the world began gathering at the Vatican to honor the long-reigning pontiff in death and to begin preparations for the process to elect a successor.

Cardinal George left for Rome April 3 after celebrating the life of the pope at Masses at Holy Name Cathedral and in his column in The Catholic New World.

“It is hard to imagine a world without Pope John Paul II,” he wrote in his column for this edition. “For over 26 years, he has been the living voice of the Catholic faith. He has been loved intensely, and not only by Catholics. He has been respected and admired. He has been shot at, criticized, denounced. As he leaves us, millions of people around the word feel his dying as their loss.” ...

His reaction to the mushrooming clerical sex abuse scandal in the United States in 2001-02 underscored his governing style: He suffered deeply, prayed at length and made brief but forceful statements emphasizing the gravity of such a sin by priests. He convened a Vatican-U.S. summit to address the problem, but let his advisers and U.S. church leaders work out the answers. In the end, he approved changes that made it easier to defrock abusive priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 7, 2005 07:41 PM