Former Sioux City Bishop among cardinals to elect new pope - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Former Sioux City Bishop among cardinals to elect new pope

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Bishop R. Walker Nickless of the Sioux City Diocese shared his insight on the papal Conclave taking place at the Vatican with KTIV's Kristie VerMulm.

VerMulm said, "I first have to ask you about the College of Cardinals. These are individuals who were hand picked for this job from either Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul the 2nd."

Most Rev. Walker Nickless said, "Cardinals in the church are actually Bishops who were chosen for a special purpose. Either they're the head of a large diocese throughout the world or they work in the Vatican for a special congregation where they help to advise the pope on the special internal workings of the church. So all the cardinals in this conclave have been elected, appointed by Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI, so Pope Emeritus Benedict has named many of these cardinals and he knows them well. He's out of the picture and they don't know each other very well so they've been spending a lot of time trying to get to know each other."

"A cardinal is really just an honorary title for a bishop. You know in the Catholic church we have priests and an honorary title for a priest is a monsignor. An honorary title for a bishop is a cardinal. And these cardinals are specifically chosen because they can advise the pope on a number of issues. But once he dies, or in this case resigns, they begin to look among themselves as to who could be succeeding him," said Bishop Nickless.

VerMulm said, "Folks in Sioux City have another reason to watch, because of former Sioux City Bishop Daniel DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston Houston is now Cardinal DiNardo. We've been watching video, we've seen interviews with him, people really feel a connection to this whole process."

"Absolutely, Cardinal DiNardo is talked about wherever I go, and they always ask "Do you think there's a possibility he could be elected?" Who knows but the Holy Spirit," said Nickless. "But yes, Cardinal DiNardo gives us a special reason to be interested in this conclave. To know that the former Sioux City Bishop is sitting right now, with the other cardinals, and could be elected pope is really unimaginable and we would have never thought about. But most of the cardinals come from large cities. We have literally one of the largest groups of cardinals comes from the United States. Eleven of them will vote on the successor to Benedict XVI."

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo spent six and a half years as bishop of the Sioux City Catholic Diocese.  He was elevated to Cardinal in 2007.

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