Pell leaves for Rome
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell left Australia for Rome on Saturday to receive his cardinal's the red hat during this weeks consistory.
Dr Pell was one of 31 new cardinals named by Pope John Paul II at the end of last month.
The consistory will start with an open air liturgy at the steps of the St Peter's tomorrow which will see the new cardinals installed. On Wednesday there will be another Mass during which the new cardinals will receive their rings.
Pope John Paul II referred at the weekend to this week's "days filled with significance, that show the unity and vitality of the church."
Several cardinals have spoken out in recent weeks about the problems that might ensue if John Paul were to become incapacitated, since there are no specific provisions in church law for removing a pope who can no longer function.
Jorge Cardinal Maria Mejia of Argentina was quoted as telling an Argentine newspaper that he believed John Paul had written a letter directing cardinals to elect a successor if he were to become either mentally or physically incapacitated. There has long been speculation that popes have written such letters in the past, although the Vatican has never confirmed it.
In comments this week to La Nacion, Mejia said stepping down shouldn't be considered something extraordinary.
"I would do the same thing if I were him, instead of putting the church in the condition of having to face an insoluble problem, as could happen," he was quoted as saying.
Global club: Cardinals getting acquainted, but not talking new pope (Catholic News Service)
Pell in Cathedral celebration before departure for Rome (17/10/03)
Archdiocese of Sydney | St Mary's Cathedral | Sydney celebrates Pope John Paul II's Silver Jubilee this Thursday (Media Release)
World's cardinals gather in Vatican (phillynews.com)
Cardinals could split when choosing a successor to John Paul (Associated Press)
Cardinals divided on church future (Associated Press)
Crunching the College of Cardinals
20 Oct 2003