With the conclave to elect the successor of Benedict XVI due to commence next Tuesday, 12 March, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor invites the Catholic community of England and Wales to pray for the Cardinal Electors.
Cardinal Cormac was speaking in Rome from his titular church – the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Cardinal priests have a patronal relationship with their titular churches.
“This is my church – Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It’s a beautiful church. Every cardinal has a church in Rome because in the early days, it was the parish priests that elected the Bishop of Rome. Every cardinal today has a church in this great city.
“We’re standing here in front of the body of Saint Catherine of Siena and there are a lot of people coming in – not only tourists but people who want to come in to pray.
“These days when we’re thinking about the legacy of Benedict XVI and also the cardinals who will vote for the new pope, I think it’s also nice to remember – as this church is dedicated to Our Lady – to ask especially for her intercession, Mary, Mother of the Church, that the cardinals will be blessed and the Holy Spirit will be with them and that they choose a man who is to be the successor of Saint Peter.
“It’s not only the cardinals who will be praying, we should pray with them. I hope all of you – especially those of you in England and Wales – will be praying for the Cardinal electors and the Church at this time.”
Tomorrow, Sunday 10 March, many cardinals will celebrate Mass at their titular churches in Rome. On Monday they meet for their final general congregation before conclave begins.
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