Pope Benedict resigned on Feb. 28.This is something that hasn’t happened for nearly six centuries, since Celestine V in 1294. The 85-year-old Pope confessed that his age and health were the reasons for stepping down.
As a consequence The Vatican summoned a conclave of cardinals that will convene in 15 to 20 days after the resignation. Cardinals eligible to vote — those under age 80 — will meet within the Vatican City and take an oath of secrecy. There are currently 117 cardinals, including O’Malley, who is 68 years old, eligible to vote. I knew Cardinal O`Malley when he was bishop of Fall River. I must also confess that I loved to meet him during my stay in the USA from 1999 to 2005. His sermons were often full of humor and despite being a humble man in his Franciscan habit, wearing his sandals, Cardinal O´Malley is very smart and able to speak many languages. I met him several times in different events from a demonstration in favour of the independence of east Timor, to religious processions. Perhaps, most importantly he presented the high school diploma to my son who attended a catholic school that belonged to the diocese of Fall River. Although I know it is difficult for Cardinal O´Malley to become the next Pope, because he is both an American and a member of the Order of the Capuchins I would love to see him as the next pope.
In this photograph we are in the consulate of Portugal in New Bedford where Bishop O´Malley attended the Cocktail Party of our National Day.