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Pope's potential successor bows out

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who for many years topped the short list of candidates to succeed Pope John Paul II, celebrated his last public mass as the Archbishop of Milan yesterday.

The 75-year-old liberal and much-loved Cardinal now goes into retirement fulfilling a personal dream of living out his life in prayer and contemplation in Jerusalem.

Martini's retirement does not exclude him from candidacy in the next papal election church rules hold that any Catholic man can be elected and he doesn't even need to be a priest. But it's the "unwritten rules" surrounding the election of the world's highest religious office that speak very loudly even when they are only whispered in the Vatican's hallowed halls.

Pope names new cardinal to powerful Milan diocese (12/7/02)
Pope accepts the resignation of Cardinal Martini (Jesuits Europe)
Diocese of Milan | Carlo Maria Martini
Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, S.J. (


9 Sep 2002