THE new pope will have to carve his own special mark in the papacy.
While respecting the apostolic tradition as a direct successor of St Peter, he will also be in a position to set a new course for the Church in the 21st century.
It would be unreasonable to expect the new pope to walk in the same shoes as John Paul II, a shepherd who will be long remembered for his influence in the Church and beyond.
The new pontiff will be guided by the Holy Spirit, in the way the Spirit wants to move in the world — and that is often unexpected.
Let us pray that the new pope will receive all the help he needs to shepherd his flock.