Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
February 12th, 2013
10:39 AM ET

Cardinal Wuerl: Next pope will have to focus on the Catholic message in a way that catches people's attention

New information this morning about why Pope Benedict XVI decided to resign. At a news conference earlier, the Vatican said the Pope doesn't feel he has the strength to continue, and there's now already speculation over just who's going to replace him.

There's already a list of front runners as potential options. One of the men on the list is His Eminence, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. He's the archbishop of Washington, and he's a voting member of the impending conclave which will elect a new Pope. He talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" about the selection of a new pope.

Wuerl responds to chatter that he could be selected as the next pope.

"I think at this point, we're talking about fantasy more than reality," he says. "The future is going to be directed to who will be a Pope who will continue to focus on the spiritual mission of the church. That's at the heart of who we are, and Pope Benedict has done that, I think, with great success, to try to keep the focus on the gospel, the mission of the gospel."

Wuerl says the key for the next pope will be engagement.

"I think where we are and where the church always is, is to take the received teaching. This is what Jesus said to us, and that's what we keep repeating, but we have to find ways of saying it so we catch the attention of people today. I deal with an awful lot of young people, young adults, and they just don't know the message. I think the next Pope is going to have to focus on this as what we believe...This is the message, love one another, be good to one another, build a world of peace and justice and kindness, but to say it in a way that we catch people's attention and their hearts."

See an extended cut of the interview in the video above.

Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. John the Historian

    We need Vatican III. It is time for reform the church. Priest and nuns need to be able to marry. Gays and Lesbians need to be embraced. Birth control and sex education needs to be accepted. Interfaith dialgoue needs to be promoted. The Popes need to stop being in the Middle Ages.

    February 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. matthmc

    Cardinal Wuerl with all due respect is not qualified to serve. He said so himself. According to Cardinal Wuerl the next Pope will "The future is going to be directed to who will be a Pope who will continue to focus on the spiritual mission of the church." Cardinal Wuerl has not focused on the spiritual mission of the church and he does not want to. Cardinal Wuerl says clearly himself he wants the mission of the church to "build a world of peace and justice". Cardinal Wuerl has the audacity to act as if it is a mystery why young people don't get the message "I deal with an awful lot of young people, young adults, and they just don't know the message." Young people don't "get the message" because Cardinal Wuerl and his other liberal priests and nuns have been feeding them the peace and justice, and their isn't any room left over for "the message".

    February 13, 2013 at 3:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. joesmith

    Mr. Wuerl, I believe spent some time in the new steel city, Pittsburgh..and to my limited knowledge, he was greatly respected, a true man of God, his faith, and compasion for the souls of all the process plays out one can only speculate, should the mantle fall to greater servant of the chuch as it moves forward in this turbulant world could be found..

    February 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.