Friday, November 14, 2003

Japan Cardinal Hopes Next Pope Calls Vatican III

From Total Catholic:

Newly-created Japanese Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao has said he believes it would be acceptable for John Paul II to retire, and has also called for his successor to call a third Vatican Council.

“I admire very much his courageous activity and work in spite of his not-so-good condition of health,” said Cardinal Hamao, 73.

“But he may retire, and I hope he does so, because it is pitiful to see him like he is now.” However, the cardinal pointedly added: “I don’t think he wants to retire.”

Cardinal Hamao, who is President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerants and the only Asian currently heading a Vatican office, said he considered the red hat to be a “strong endorsement” by John Paul II of the work of his office.

The cardinal then looked forward to the conclave to choose a successor, who he said firstly should be a man like the present Pope, and secondly a man able to “understand the position of the different cultures, religions and customs of the different countries”.

Third, he would like the next pope to be “open, intelligent and welcoming,” who will ensure that the Curia serves and encourages the Church throughout the world. Fourthly, he considers it important that the next pope should have pastoral experience in a diocese, and fifthly, and most strikingly, he wants the next pope to call a third Vatican Council.
“The bishops make proposals at the synods, and the Holy Father gives an apostolic exhortation, but nothing is decided,” he said.

“No decisions are taken by the synods of bishops. I don’t think this is due to the Holy Father. But the fact is there is no change in the structures of the Church. This does not strengthen the faith.”

Cardinal Hamao said a Vatican Council could address such issues as the relationship with other religions, bioethics, cloning, the environment and ecology.