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Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor asks faithful to pray for cardinal electors

By on Monday, 11 March 2013

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor celebrates Mass at Westminster Cathedral (Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor celebrates Mass at Westminster Cathedral (Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has asked Catholics in England and Wales to pray for the cardinals who will vote for the new pope this week.

The Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster urged the faithful to ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary that the cardinal electors be inspired by the Holy Spirit in their choice.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was speaking from his titular church in Rome two days before the conclave was due to begin. Many cardinals celebrated Mass at their titular churches on Sunday.

“This is my church – Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It’s a beautiful church. Every cardinal has a church in Rome because in the early days, it was the parish priests that elected the Bishop of Rome. Every cardinal today has a church in this great city,” he said.

“We’re standing here in front of the body of St Catherine of Siena and there are a lot of people coming in – not only tourists but people who want to come in to pray.”

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has taken part in the discussions about who the Church needs as the new pope, but will not be able to vote in the conclave because he is over 80.

He said: “These days when we’re thinking about the legacy of Benedict XVI and also the cardinals who will vote for the new pope, I think it’s also nice to remember – as this church is dedicated to Our Lady – to ask especially for her intercession, Mary, Mother of the Church, that the cardinals will be blessed and the Holy Spirit will be with them and that they choose a man who is to be the successor of Saint Peter.

“It’s not only the cardinals who will be praying, we should pray with them. I hope all of you – especially those of you in England and Wales – will be praying for the Cardinal electors and the Church at this time.”

Today the cardinals meet for their final general congregation before the conclave begins.

  • http://twitter.com/GICOR1 Court Of Record

    A contemplation for the cardinals and a prayer for the pope:

    http://www.courtofrecord.org.uk/contemplation.html

    Let us then pray for a Pope who shall hear this message from Our Father
    in Heaven and throw open the doors of the Church to all in communion…

  • Enid Ecumaniac

    We at the St. Martin Luther Institute of Advanced Ecumenical Heresy are holding a midnight seance tonight so that the band of mysogynists known as the College of Cardinals elect a Pope friendly to the aspirations of us ecumenists, who strive through syncretism to banish war, poverty, global warming (or cooling, depending on the weather) patriarchal dominance and discrimination against LBW people, gerbils and other furry creatures everywhere. As Deirdre said to Father Guevara recently, that Mr Singh who owns the corner shop is a delight not despite the fact that he is a Priest of the Sacrificial Cult of Kali the God of Death (Enfield Branch), but because he is a priest of Kali; and as for the very pleasant identical twins who operate the Aztec Human Sacrifice Centre from No. 33, why should some old fool in Rome tell them that they are barred from eternal life? After all, it’s only a few dozen people who’ve unaccountably gone missing from the local area in the last few years, and Father Guevara agreed, he said it’s all down to medievalism and the albino monks secretly bred by Popes in the prisons of the Holy See beneath Rome; and we all know that Jesus would have been just as good a guitarist as Jimi Hendrix if he’d lived in the 1960′s and used the sort of stimulants one can find nowadays although we at the Institute, not being rich, are limited to smoking roasted banana skins which open up the Yin and the Yang I can tell you, and so can Father Guevara but that story is for another day and so what if a Nigerian witch-doctor chanted his prayers to the pagan god Olugan at Assisi III, he is just expressing his innate right to live in darkness which no missionary from the so-called Catholic church can take away from him and that Nick Clegg said he might come to the seance although I have warned him about the possible difficulties connected with dry-cleaning ectoplasm off one’s suit …

    (froths at the mouth and falls over backwards)

  • Little Eccles

    I guess you normally write for the Tablet, Enid?

  • Enid Ecumaniac

    You sound yummy Eccles, haven’t we met before? We at the Institute had a disagreement with the Tablet over our boxed ad for obsidian sacrificing knives. They weren’t against paganism but apparently the knives might give them a problem with Plod. 

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    One says, “The future Pope is among you.”  Another one says, ” The new Pope must be like any one of the great Popes of the past 150 years.”  There may be others also who have given their own guidelines. And here is one Cardinal pleading to pray for the cardinals who will vote for the new pope this
    week.

    The Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor urged the faithful to ask for
    the intercession of the Virgin Mary that the cardinal electors be
    inspired by the Holy Spirit in their choice.

    HOW MUCH SPACE are our Church leaders leaving to the SPIRIT OF JESUS in the selection of the NEW POPE!

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Just_a_simpleton

    I don’t understand the point being made here.  Cardinal Murphy O’Connor is asking for prayers so that the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Jesus – will guide the Cardinal electors. Isn’t that what you want?

  • Nat_ons

    I suspect TP simply wants the Cardinal Electors – and the rest of us – to be open to the Holy Ghost and his promptings .. after all, prelates have been know to pursue their own fleshly advantages even in electing a successor to Peter’s Chair at Rome (yes, even perhaps being open to charges of heresy against the Spirit of Jesus at work in his body).

    The Spirit shall indeed work with whomsoever the Cardinals throw at him, dear Lord God help, protect and guide that feeble human soul; over the last 150 years his voice has been heard more clearly by the Electors .. not least in electing saintly witnesses.

    A martyr for the Faith at Rome may not be necessary – just yet – however it has come perilously close at times in Pius XII, Paul VI, Pius IX, John Paul II; still, a renewal of Pius X, John XXIII and Benedict XVI remains the saintly struggle ahead.

  • Benedict Carter

    Does the Creed not say, “Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit”.

    The Holy Ghost is of the Father, not the Son, but is made present to us through the Son. 

    I don’t like this “Spirit of Jesus” phrase. It seems to me inaccurate and demeans the Holy Ghost’s nature as a separate Person of the Blessed Trinity.

  • Just_a_simpleton

    It is not Catholic doctrine to say that the Holy Ghost is of the Father but not of the Son.  I accept that the phrase “Spirit of Jesus” does not say everything about the Holy Spirit but a phrase can be incomplete without being inaccurate.

  • Benedict Carter

    Proceeds from the Father and the Son yes, but according to those theologians who dealt with the Eastern objection to the Filioque, this is to be understood in a way that does not do violence to the Eastern understanding: hence the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father as a prime cause but is “breathed out” through the Son. 

    Hope I’ve got that summary right – if not, I of course accept the Church’s judgement. 

  • clever clogs

    The fact that the Eastern and Western understandings differ lies at the heart of the ‘Filioque’ dispute. The Council of Florence which addressed the matter decreed (1439): “we define that this truth of faith must be believed and received by all and that all must profess: the Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; he has his nature and subsistence at once from Father and Son; he proeeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration.”

  • Benedict Carter

    Thanks CC, there we have it. I was wrong. 

  • jae

    That is also the reason why the Eastern Orthodox’s objections to Filioque is misguided. The Catholic Church got it right and the Holy Scripture is on our side which explicitly teach:

    Revelation 22:1, “Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

    The symbol of Living Water always refers to the Holy Spirit flowing from the Throne of God [Father] **AND** the Lamb [Son]. It didn’t say proceeding only from the Father nor through the Son.

  • AlanP

    As I see it, the point is not the truth (or otherwise) of the Filioque.  The point is whether Rome had the authority unilaterally to add to the ancient Creed, without the consent of a large part of the Church.

  • http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/ The Catholic Herald

    OK, will do.

    Frank
    (Editorial Assistant)

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I have looked at this rather thorny question, in the dialectal Iberian Late Latin text whereby the Filioque was first expressed in its theological fullness, and IMO this text has been poorly translated more than once, and it is therefore very often misunderstood.

    Particularly in its theology of the Holy Trinity.

    The text in circulation of the doctrine reads as follows :

    Nec quia tres has personas esse diximus unum deum eundem esse patrem quem filium vel eum esse filium qui est pater, aut eum qui est spiritus sanctus, vel patrem et filium dicere poterimus. Non enim ipse est pater, nec spiritus sanctus ipse qui est vel pater vel filius cum tamen ipse sit pater quod filius, ipsum filius quod pater, ipsum pater et filius quod et spiritus sanctus id est natura unus deus. Cum enim dicimus non ipsum esse patrem quem filium ad personarum distinctionem refertur. Cum autem dicamus ipsum esse patrem quod filium, et ipsum filium quod patrem ipsum spiritum sanctum quod patrem et filium ad naturam qua deus est vel substantiam pertinere monstratur, quia substantia unum sunt. Personas enim distinguimus, non deitate separamus. Trinitatem igitur in personarum distinctione agnoscimus, potestatem propter naturam vel substantiam profitemur. Tria ergo ista unum sunt natura scilicet non persona.

    Except that the sentence structure given here is just wrong. The punctuation provided tries to deform the text into Classical Latin structures — but this is quite simply NOT a Classical Latin text.

    It should be :

    Nec quia tres has personas esse diximus unum deum eundem esse patrem quem filium, vel eum esse filium qui est pater, aut eum qui est spiritus sanctus vel patrem et filium dicere poterimus. Non enim ipse est pater, nec spiritus sanctus ipse qui est vel pater vel filius ; cum tamen ipse sit pater quod filius, ipsum filius quod pater, ipsum pater et filius quod et spiritus sanctus, id est natura unus deus. Cum enim dicimus non ipsum esse patrem quem filium, ad personarum distinctionem refertur. Cum autem dicamus ipsum esse patrem quod filium, et ipsum filium quod patrem, ipsum spiritum sanctum quod patrem et filium ad naturam qua deus, est vel substantiam pertinere monstratur quia substantia unum sunt. Personas enim distinguimus, non deitate separamus.

    Trinitatem igitur in personarum distinctione agnoscimus, potestatem propter naturam vel substantiam profitemur. Tria ergo ista unum sunt natura scilicet non persona.

    >>>>> My own translation of this passage

    And it is not because we have said that these Three Persons are One God that we could say that the Father is the same as the Son, or that the Son is He Who is the Father, or that He Who is the Holy Spirit is either the Father or the Son. For the Father is not identical to these, nor is the Holy Spirit identical to either the Father or the Son ; although at the same time the Father is the same One as the Son, and the Son is the same One as the Father, and this same One Who is Father and Son is also the Holy Spirit, that is to say One God in Nature.

    Because then we say that the Father and the Son are not identical, it is important to make them distinct as Persons. For given that we could also say that the Father is the same as the Son, and the Son the same as the Father, and the Holy Spirit the same as the Father and Son in their Nature as God, it is important to show as to their Substance, if you will, that They are One Substance. For we distinguish the Persons, but we do not sever the Deity.

    Therefore we understand the Trinity in this distinction between Persons as we authoritatively declare for reasons of both Nature and Substance, for these Three are One in Nature though clearly not in their Persons.

    ——-

    (Oh, and YES, I have specifically studied the peculiarities of Late Latin)

    ——-

    The clunkiness of my translation, BTW, simply mirrors the clunkiness of the original text. It is VERY badly written :-)

    (it is therefore not surprising that it has been so frequently misunderstood)

    The *point* here is that the doctrine teaches that, depending on the particular point of view that one might take according to circumstance, it is legitimate to say that the Spirit proceeds only from the Father, just as well as being legitimate to say that the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

    This is because when considering God as the Trinity, the Father and the Son are One (with the Spirit) — but when considering the Trinity as Father, Son, and Spirit, the Father and the Son are different in their Persons.

    This means though that it is a matter of our Faith, that the Spirit proceeds from the Son, as well as from the Father — because to claim otherwise is either to deny the Trinity ; or more likely to simply misunderstand the dodgy Latin of that particular Council of Toledo.

  • Shrek

     Thanks :-)

  • jae

    The Church of Rome has always been the Seat of Preeminent Authority attested by the writings of the Early Church Fathers both from the east and west. This Church doesn’t need an approval nor consent from any local churches when it comes to matters of Faith and Morals.

  • AlanP

    I was thinking more of moral, rather than legal, authority.  Was it really worth 1000 years of schism?

  • jae

    The great schism was due more to the political and cultural differences of the West and East Churches then add the “superior” attitude from both sides. Filioque came in later, which some Orthodox Churches today in a dialogue has admitted and agreed with the Catholic Church’s interpretation based on the Book of Revelation 22:1.

  • AlanP

    As I stated earlier, I was referring not to the TRUTH of the filioque but to whether the Nicene Creed could be amended in this way, 700 years later.  The different understandings of East and West sprang from their different philosophical influences: Platonism and Augustinianism respectively.  It’s more a question of emphasis than of right or wrong.

  • Lamb427

    Let us pray that the Holy Spirit helps the Cardinals to chose a leader who will be strong enough to lead the church away from the scandal and corruption that has beset it over the last decade.  My faith in God is as strong as ever, however I am struggling to come to terms with the constant reports of wrong doing within the church hierachy.  In light of the most recent reports about the settlement by the church in LA ($10 million Dollars) and the reports that are coming out about the knowledge that certain Cardinals had about abusive priests; I find it incredible that those Cardinals can be allowed to take part in the election of the next pope.  What message does that send out to the world and how can ordinary Catholics defend the church – where is the leadship that the church craves?

  • W Lewis513

    Why do you go on giving precious sPace to  comments from “Yesterdays Man” C.C.M.O’C. he keeps oping up everwhere as a “expert” how he got to his poition I will never understand. He and his mmediate successor distroyed the Rl. C in this country. It is high timehe had the courage of his convictions and submitted to Cabterbury. But then the red hat is nice.Pity he doens not take himself off to a monatery e.g Quarr  but woudl they have hime/