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March 14th, 2013
09:48 AM ET

Cardinal Dolan: Every Catholic is happy about Pope Francis election, hope is he can change 'presentation' of the church

Today marks the first day of Pope Francis’s papacy. A man of many firsts, including the first to take the name Francis and the first Latin American pope, Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is expected by many to revitalize the church.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, was in the conclave of cardinals which elected Pope Francis. He speaks to Chris Cuomo live from Rome on "Starting Point" to talk about his expectation for the future of the church with Pope Francis at its helm.

Cardinal Dolan calls the Catholic Church a blend of the "ancient" and the "new", and he believes Pope Francis's track record shows he'll lead it well.

"I think he's going to tend the Roman curia," which Cardinal Dolan says needs tending to like any government. Cardinal Dolan says he doesn't expect Pope Francis to move the church on its views on gay marriage or celibacy as dictated by what's called the Deposit of Faith, but present it more compellingly to the next generation.

"He can't change any of the substance, the givens,” Cardinal Dolan says, “but, boy, can he ever change the way that's presented.”

Cardinal Dolan also explains what it's like to partake in conclave, the best known secret process in the world. "First of all, it's not all fun and games," he says. "It's very intense and it's very emotionally draining, because you think about it night and day. I mean, this would be one of the most important things I ever have to do."

While many have described conclave in a political sense, Cardinal Dolan says it's more like a silent retreat. "It’s not a caucus. It’s not a convention. It’s almost like a liturgy, an occasion of prayer."

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Filed under: Conclave • Papal conclave • Pope
March 13th, 2013
11:24 AM ET

What qualities should the next pope possess? Cardinal Theordore McCarrick weighs in

This morning on "Starting Point," retired archbishop of Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sits down with Soledad O'Brien to talk about the qualities he thinks are important in the next pope.

Even though McCarrick voted in the last conclave, he says that every conclave is different. All conclaves are completely secluded from the outside world, and McCarrick says “I think I would have to be a fortuneteller to think about what’s going on in those rooms now.”

On the qualities the next pope should have, the Cardinal states he needs to be a “moral voice in the world today,” and the new pope needs to “remind the world that the poor are getting poorer, remind the world that the fact that violence and wars are multiplying in our society in our world today.

McCarrick says the job of the conclave is for Cardinals to vote for “the one that God wants." He stresses that the Cardinals are “also praying because they want to do this right.”

Filed under: Catholic Church • Conclave • Papal conclave • Pope
March 8th, 2013
08:06 AM ET

VIDEO: Cardinals to set date for papal conclave today – Ben Wedeman reports

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports Cardinals vote today on a date to start conclave to select next pope.

Filed under: Conclave • Vatican
March 1st, 2013
10:52 AM ET

Cardinal George: CNN's influence on the selection of the next pope

This morning on "Starting Point," Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, talks to Soledad O’Brien about the process of picking the next pope and CNN's impact on the process.

In particular, Cardinal George said that the names floated as possible successors on CNN are good choices, and may actually impact the selection process.

“You’re talking about them on CNN and other great networks," Cardinal George says. "And they’re interesting conversations you’re having. You help us. And I must say that the people you’re talking about would be good candidates from what I’ve seen so far. Eight years ago I recall listening to the media and I thought they don’t know who the candidates really are. There are some wild guesses going on. This time somebody’s done his or her homework and I think you’re coming up with good names.”

Filed under: Conclave • Pope • Vatican