That’s Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl discussing priorities for the next pope.
The man cardinals choose as the next pope must be someone with the requisite energy and mastery of modern communications media to promote a revival of the faith in increasingly secular societies around the world, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.
The cardinal, who will vote in the upcoming papal election, spoke with Catholic News Service hours after arriving in Rome Feb. 25.
“The secularism that is just engulfing our culture,” he said, “will be weighing heavily on the hearts and minds in the conclave.”
“Those people who think they know the Gospel and it doesn’t have any meaning for them, they’re the people we have to find a way to touch, to invite once again to the embrace of Christ,” he said. “That thought, that concern, that issue, is going to be something that we’ll all carry with us into the conclave.”
Cardinal Wuerl, 72, said the same idea dominated the world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, which met at the Vatican in October 2012. As the synod’s relator, Cardinal Wuerl synthesized the remarks and recommendations of his fellow bishops in two speeches during the gathering, which he now considers a “providential moment,” since it brought together 52 of the 117 cardinals eligible to vote for the next pope less than five months before the election.
On that occasion, he said, Pope Benedict XVI outlined the “work ahead of us … to address the needs today of the proclamation of the good news in a way that it will be heard.
“Whoever is going to hold the see of Peter, whoever is going to sit in Peter’s chair is going to have to see the issues as Blessed John Paul did, as Benedict did, as the synod did, as I think most of the cardinals do, that is: that we are very, very much like the early church in relation to the world around us,” the cardinal said. “Christianity is no longer a dominant culture, secularism is the dominant force in the world of culture. So the Holy Father is going to have to be a person whose focus will be on that.”
See what else he had to say in an interview with Catholic News Service below.