Influential French cardinal calls for young pope
'More or less 65 and capable of reforming Curia' says Tauran19 February, 16:10
Peter. Speaking with French agency I.Media, Tauran said the outgoing pope's decision to step down showed "great moral nobility". The new pope, he said, should be "young", a man of "dialogue", and he should be capable of imparting "the contents of Church teaching" and of launching a reform of the Roman Curia "to make it more coordinated". When asked how young the pope should be, Tauran said "more or less 65, but also 70 if he's in good health".
Tauran, 69, is the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and is considered one of the most influential members of the upcoming conclave to elect a new pontiff. In his role as senior cardinal-deacon, Tauran is in charge of introducing the new pope on the balcony of St. Peter's with the famous Latin words 'Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus papam'. (I announce to you a great joy: We have a pope).
Last Monday Benedict shocked the world by announcing he will step down, becoming the first pope in modern history to retire from the traditionally lifetime post.
His resignation will become final on February 28 at 20:00 local time. A conclave of cardinals to elect his successor will convene in the middle of March, though no date has been chosen, according to the Vatican. Cardinals from around the world have already begun arriving in Rome ahead of the conclave, which may start earlier than normal to allow the investiture of a new pope in time for Holy Week events, starting with Palm Sunday on March 24 and ending the following Sunday on Easter.
photo: Former American secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran