Cardinals: New Pope Won’t Change John Paul II Positions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 4, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Cardinals: New Pope Won’t Change John Paul II Positions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 4, 2005

The Vatican ( — Pope John Paul II left behind a legacy of strong pro-life positions opposing abortion and speaking out on such bioethics issues as euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. Catholic cardinals charged with the task of finding a replacement say dissident Catholics who want the church to compromise its long-held pro-life views shouldn’t expect any change.

Cardinal Jorge Medina of Chile told Reuters Monday that "every Pope must be a conservative," citing the John Paul’s position on key pro-life issues.

"Saint Paul told his disciples ‘conserve intact the deposit of faith.’ A conservative is one who conserves. A pope cannot be liberal in Church doctrine," said Cardinal Medina said.

Cardinal George Pell of Australia, an outspoken pro-life advocate and the country’s lone representative to the conclave that will vote in a new Pope, tells the Cybercast News Service that a new pope will not usher in "radical change."

"Those who want radical change realize that they had no hope while he was in charge and I hope with the next pope there’ll be a similar sense of security," he said.

"I’m quite sure that the general line — fidelity to basic Catholic teachings — is absolutely unassailable," Pell added.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Tom Williams of New Zealand told Reuters he would be looking to vote for a new pope who will keep the Catholic Church moving in the same pro-life direction.

"I haven’t any particular people in mind, but I do want for the Church someone who will carry out the direction set by John Paul II," Cardinal Williams said.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil told the Associated Press that the next pope must be someone who can expound on the church’s pro-life message in the face of rapidly changing technology.

"He should continue the dialogues – with the sciences, religions, society, with biotechnology, biology, bioethics. All those areas are developing quickly and there are many things that need to be discussed," Cardinal Hummes said.

Related news stories:

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Pope Leaves Behind Pro-Life Legacy on Abortion, Euthanasia

Pro-Life Groups Respond to Pope John Paul II’s Death