RATZINGER IN LEAD FOR PAPACY
- RATZINGER IN LEAD FOR PAPACY
(Wednesday 13, 2005; www.zaman.com )
Backstage activities for the selection of the new pope among the cardinals in the Vatican are continuing.
According to information from Vatican sources on the election, which is to be held officially on April 18, the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is most likely to be selected for the post.
The Italian press mention about 20 cardinals are talked about for the position, but nearly 50 cardinals with conservative inclinations are already in agreement on Ratzinger. The rest of the cardinals are said to bes still undecided. Reuters news agency reports that an official who wants to remain anonymous has said that Ratzinger seems a strong possibility, but how the voting session will be concluded is not certain.
The 78-year-old Ratzinger, known to be a conservative, chaired the Religious Teaching Board for 23 years during the reign of the late Pope John Paul II. He conducted the Pope's funeral last Friday and is the president of the College of Cardinals which is in charge of the continuing preparations for the papal selection.
Another cardinal Carlo Maria Martini is also being suggested, but the Cardinal is reluctant to accept the office and therefore his candidacy could be only a symbolic.
The selection will take place next Monday with the retreat of 115 cardinals to the Vatican's Sistine Chapel with the successor to John Paul II needing at least 77 votes.
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