AUSTRALIAN Cardinal George Pell told a congregation in a Rome church that the new pope will have to defend the apostolic tradition and reject cut-price Christianity.
Cardinal Pell was preaching at Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello, his titular church in Rome, on April 17, the Feast of the Good Shepherd.
He urged Catholics to pray for the conclave to elect another ‘Good Shepherd’.
Cardinal Pell said regular worshippers in parish churches understood and accepted the message but those outside the Church were uncertain.
He said the Christ of the Gospels was still at the centre of all the changes over the centuries.
Cardinal Pell said Catholics should thank God that Pope John Paul II had been a Good Shepherd and pray with others worldwide for another Good Shepherd.
Meanwhile, two retired Australian cardinals, who weren’t in the conclave to elect a new pope on April 18 because of their age, cautioned Catholics not to automatically expect a repeat of the papacy of John Paul II.
Cardinal Edward Clancy, the retired Archbishop of Sydney, said it was unreasonable to expect the next pope to be comparable to John Paul II.
Cardinal Clancy said each pope brought to the role his own unique personality and life experiences.
Cardinal Edward Cassidy backed up Cardinal Clancy’s belief that the new pope would bring his personality and strengths to the job.
‘There will be a tendency to expect the next pope to be like John Paul II but it would be foolish to think we would get a clone,’ Cardinal Cassidy said.