As cardinals gather for the papal election Tuesday, Catholics around the world wait expectantly for the name of the individual who will be selected as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Several Oklahoma Catholics recently were asked about their expectations for the new pontiff. Here, they describe the attributes they would like their new papal leader to possess:
Victor Munding, parishioner of St. Mark Catholic Church, Norman: “Someone who is holy and who upholds the teachings of the church and who continues the New Evangelization of the church all over the world. I'd like to see someone who is a good leader, a strong leader, someone who helps people grow in holiness and who can unify the flock.”
Joana Camacho, principal of Sacred Heart Catholic School, Oklahoma City: “I would like to see someone who is going to continue making bridges with other religions throughout the world; someone who will continue, as Pope Benedict has done, to be a strong advocate for religious freedom throughout the world and to continue to promote the importance of Catholic education for the church's future. I also want a Holy Father who is not afraid to speak about whatever needs to be said — he's not going to dance around whether it makes people uncomfortable or not. Obviously, I want to see someone who is holy and prayerful and open to the Holy Spirit's guidance. I would also like someone who is open to social media like Facebook and Twitter because that's another way to evangelize.”
The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Oklahoma City archbishop: “I trust that we will have the kind of pope that the Lord desires to lead the Catholic Church because we trust that the Lord is very active in the conclave, but from my perspective, I hope that we will have a pope who is really a living witness to Jesus Christ, one who is somebody who reminds people of Jesus, somebody who has the qualities and virtues that Jesus made manifest as a Good Shepherd. That's the most important thing, I think, for the church right now, that we have a Christ-like shepherd.”
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