The Vatican previously annnounced the commencement of the Papal Conclave starting the afternoon of March 12, 2013. The last cardinal arrived very recently allowing for 4-5 days of prayer and group discussions between the participants prior to the actual balloting.
Essentially, the cardinals will discuss the role of priests and nuns in the Church. Traditionally, the Church has required the religious orders to adhere to a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Poverty means that members lead a simple life devoid of ostentatious showings of wealth and its accoutrements. This requirement is in place to set an example for the parishioners and to prevent or limit conflicts of interest which could interfere with delivering Christ's message and the message of the Old Testament. A simple life means basic possessions like clothing and a minimum of personal belongings consistent with basic sustenance.
Chastity means a direct personal service to God and to the Church and its mission. Obedience means an undivided commitment to the Church devoid of outside reporting relationships. People who seek membership to religious orders must make these vows to become priests or nuns. People who make these vows and break them are disciplined or expelled. Vows are made freely.
Generally speaking, these vows are non-negotiable once made. In recent years, the Church has allowed surrogates to assist with administering the prayer services. These assistants help with various functions during daily services, marriage ceremonies, baptisms, funerals, last rights and maintaining the physical buildings where services are held. In addition, they assist with outreach into the community.
The overall mission of the Church is best summed up by Pope Emeritus Benedict when he called for reproposing the Gospel "to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization."
Just what are the teachings of Christ? The teachings are found throughout the gospels. Examples are Christ recognizing the faith of the blind man while returning the gift of sight. Other pronouncements include: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's". Jesus told the rich man to lay down his wealth and follow Him in order to secure a place in the afterlife. The rich man went away.
Shortly, the cardinals will cast a series of ballots in order to select a new Pope. Members of the Roman Curia could put forward a popular candidate who might prevail early. Otherwise, the cardinals will be searching for a candidate who best exemplifies all of the above. There may be an emphasis on the candidate's philosophy, pastoral work and writing in the area of The New Evangelization.
Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
What did you think of this review?