Cardinals from around the world hold the future of the church - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

115 cardinals from around the world hold the future of the Catholic Church in their hands

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On the eve of Tuesday's conclave, the cardinals fanned out over Rome to conduct mass, meet the faithful, and the press.

"Are you ready for the conclave?

"I'm ready to go home. I've run out of socks," Cardinal Timothy Dolan said.

Behind the humor, the handshakes and the hugs is serious business.

The 115 cardinals who will disappear into the conclave, will decide on the direction of the church, perhaps for decades to come.

"A faction within the Vatican is eager for continuity, hesitant to rock the barque of St Peter. But with financial and sexual scandals plaguing the church, many of the cardinals are pushing for a shake up, says Italian columnist Massimo Franco."

The others want a radical change in the chain of power in Rome, so they want Rome to be changed in the mentality, as the people who run the business.

The U.S. cardinals are seen as the principal boat rockers.

There is a strong role of the Americans, overall of the North Americans, which give the impression of a fresh church, a very strong church.

"And for those pushing for reforms, there's strong desire to fundamentally change the way the church is managed. A bit of democracy might help, hints church historian Professor John O'Malley."

One thing that's needed in the church today is less of a top down program, where Rome, the Vatican, tells us what to do and we do it, without any sort of participation from bishops, the leity and the priesthood.

But the Catholic Church is an institution steeped in centuries of tradition, intrigue and sometimes skullduggery. The Church of Rome wasn't built in a day, and it won't be rearranged with just one pope.

If we go through a stage of simply digging in the heels, and nothing's going to change we are just going to doing things the way we've been doing them that's going to shock a lot people and disappoint a lot of people.

"And that at a time when the Church can ill afford it.

In the end, the mortals who run the church must look to a higher power for guidance," Cardinal Sean O'Malley said.

Let us pray that the Holy spirit illuminates the church to choose a new pope who will confirm us in our faith and make more visible the love of the good shepherd.

"...otherwise the flock may stray," O'Malley said.

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