Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication sent shockwaves throughout the world on Tuesday with many Catholics left wondering who will be the church’s next spiritual leader.
Among those to keen to speculate on the impending election of a new Pope is St Patrick’s Blacktown priest Peter Confeggi.
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Fr Confeggi believes a Pope from the developing world could help highlight the church’s universal reach and offer new ideas in a fast-changing modern world.
‘‘Here in the Parramatta Diocese we have one of Australia’s biggest and most multicultural mixes of Catholics,’’ Fr Confeggi said.
‘‘Many of the parish’s catholics would like to see a cardinal from their homeland elected such as a Filipino or African Pope.’’
Fr Confeggi said he believes a Pope from the developing world could bring a new energy, intelligence and openness to the world not seen before from a European Pope.
‘‘Africa and Central America are the fastest-growing Catholic regions in the world,’’ Fr Confeggi said.
‘‘I worked in Africa for a number of years and believe a Pope from this continent could help do a lot of good work on such issues as inter-faith dialogue.’’
Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson is considered the favourite to become the next Pope with Canada’s Marc Ouellet and Nigeria’s Francis Arinze also in close contention.