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Talks of the next pope premature-CBCP official

August 11, 2022 - Thursday 4:08 PM by GDM

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By: Angelo Espino

An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Permanent Committee on Public Affairs on Thursday said the talks about who will be the next pope are very untimely.

"Speculating on who would be the next Pope is extremely premature at this moment," said Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Committee, in an interview.

He believed that the Holy Father is still at the peak of his career as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Pope Francis continues to be at the helm of the papacy and shows no indication of cutting short his tenure," the Catholic priest said.

"All this talk about his possible resignation is basically just a media narrative meant to politicize an otherwise sacred election called the conclave," he added.

At the same time, Secillano asked the faithful to pray for the leadership of Pope Francis to be able to face all the challenges.

"Let's just pray for Pope Francis and all his collaborators that they may stir the catholic church in the right direction as the church continues to face scrutiny and challenges at the moment," he said.

The name of former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, now the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, among other offices he handled at the Vatican, together with another cardinal, is being considered to succeed the Holy Father.

A London-based Roman Catholic monthly newspaper, the Catholic Herald, reported that Tagle and Cardinal Péter Erd?, the archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest are the leading candidates for the papacy.

For his part, the Filipino cardinal said such talks are not timely, as the pontiff announced that he would not resign.

"The Holy Father is still strong and he announced that he will not resign even though he has difficulty walking. So the matter of who can succeed him is not timely," Tagle said in a television interview on Wednesday.