Oklahoma Catholics share hopes for new pope
Mar 12, 2013 (The Oklahoman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
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."
Sister Barbara Joseph Foley, Carmelite nun, food pantry operator and retired youth ministry director, Oklahoma City: "That he be relatively young. Provide good leadership and address critical issues facing the Catholic Church. Be full of joy and have a childlike side to him and be attractive to our youth of today. Embrace the use of technology, i.e. computers, Twitter and current types of media available. We will continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance in the selection process of our next Holy Father. It is a very exciting time in our history."
The Most Rev. Edward Slattery, Tulsa bishop: "One thing I do know is God wants us to pray. He established the church with a shepherd so what I want to see in the new pope is Jesus Christ, who is the Good Shepherd who lays His life down for His flock. He is to give us an example of the Good Shepherd because he is following in Christ's footsteps. I'd like to see someone who is committed to the teaching of Vatican II and the New Evangelization. In order to communicate this to the modern world, one must find the right tools, and one way is through modern media. I'd also like to see the new pope be a man who will make the poor his priority."
The Rev. Rick Stansberry, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church, Nichols Hills: "For me, I would certainly like to see the person be a person of deep prayer. I also think in these modern times, they need to be a good communicator. I think it needs to be someone who really challenges the culture, rather than giving in to it. I'd also like to see someone whose done some work in the "parish trenches" -- someone who has been a parish priest. That person will know what the people in the parishes are going through on a daily basis."
Carla Hinton, Religion Editor
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