Cardinals begin pre-selection meeting for new Pope

The selection will be guided by the Holy Spirit, Vatican envoy says.

The general congregation of Catholic cardinals, the first in a series of pre-Conclave meeting where possible candidates for the papacy are chosen, will hold Monday, Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, has announced.

The cardinals will also discuss issues regarding the church, but most importantly they will discuss who they think will be a good candidate to succeed Pope Benedict XVI who stepped down on Thursday.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano made the date public in an official letter sent to the world’s cardinals on March 1. The cardinals have two meetings fixed for that day, first in the morning and later before dusk.

The cardinals may announce when the conclave will begin after their first meeting.

Meanwhile, the Vatican Ambassador to Nigeria, Most Reverend Augustine Kasujja, said on Sunday the next Pope will be chosen as directed by holy spirit.

The clergy spoke while observing a Mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church College, Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta, as part of his Apostolic visit to Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta.

He said no one can be exact about where the new leader for the church will come from as the decision will be through divine guidance.

“The emergence of whoever will take over from the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lies with Holy spirit and which cannot be influenced by anybody,” he said.

He also noted that the doctrine of Catholic and who ever occupies certain position has always been done through the Cannon Law, and as such no one can say either an African, Asian or American is going to be Pope.

“To be a Pope, Bishop or Priest, the emergence is not according to human perception or thought or because you are good looking or black or you are white, but whoever the Holy Spirit appoints,” he said.

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