Sodano conjures up the unity of the Church
With a solemn mass in the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Cardinals geared up for the Conclave to elect a new Pope. In the “Missa pro eligendo Romano Pontefice” the Church dignitaries prayed for the assistance of the Holy Spirit for the decision on the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
In the afternoon they then will adjourn to the Sistine Chapel, where the election Benedict XVI’s successor will take place in a closed session. The 85-year-old German had resigned in late February as the first Pope in nearly 600 years.
Dean of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, called on God to help them make the right choice: “We implore the Lord, that through the pastoral solicitude of the cardinal fathers, He may soon grant another good shepherd to his Holy Church. In this hour, faith in the promise of Christ sustains us in the indefectible character of the Church.” He also called up for the unity of the Church, which has been shaken by numerous scandals in recent years.
The last Mass before the Conclave in 2005 April, was led by the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger, who came out of the Conclave as the new Pope. Ratzinger’s sermon was like a preview to the theological orientation of his pontificate.
“Unity of the Church” is in demand
A few hours before the start of the 2013 Conclave, Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano, who is part of the extended circle of favorites for the office of the Pope, called for the “unity of the Church”. He also called for a closed support for a new pontiff. “Each of us is therefore called to cooperate with the Successor of Peter (the pope), the visible foundation of such an ecclesial unity”, said the Cardinal.
Sodano also praised the term of office of the retired Pope Benedict XVI., as a “brilliant pontificate” and thanked him accompanied by long lasting applause of those present. “The basic attitude of every shepherd is to lay down one’s life for his sheep (John 10:15),” Sodano said.