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Cardinals arrive in Rome for Papal Silver Jubilee

Cardinals from around the world began arriving Rome on Monday to mark the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's papacy and for the Consistory that some see as a precursor of the conclave that will elect his successor.

English Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said he and his fellow bishops were happy to attend the celebrations and recognise "yes, his frailty, but also his indomitable will to carry on and serve the church as long as God permits him to do so."

Pope John Paul, suffering from Parkinson's disease and knee and hip ailments, kept up his schedule, meeting with the president of Uruguay and several prelates. He has also not ruled out further travels.

"Providence alone knows whether I shall be able to continue my pastoral pilgrimages in your blessed lands," he told groups from Eastern Europe.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington DC, said they would be discussing "collegiality", a term often equated with democracy in the church, the role of bishops, relations with other Christian denominations and missionary work - "all the things that have been so important in the life of Pope John Paul II."

With the entire College of Cardinals invited to attend and with a new batch of 30 new cardinals to be installed next week, the sessions also offer an opportunity for the men to size one another up for the time it comes to select a successor.

"I guess it's natural that as you get to know each other, you get to know each other better and you see who you respect the most, and who seems to have a sense of the church in our times," McCarrick said.

Sydney's Cardinal-designate Dr George Pell will not leave for Rome until after tomorrow evening's Thanksgiving Mass at St Mary's Cathedral to celebrate the Pope's Silver Jubilee. The Mass is being organised by the city's Polish community as "a celebration for the Catholic people of Sydney".

Catholic Communications Sydney says the entrance procession will feature representatives from many nations bearing 26 flags, including the Polish, Vatican, Aboriginal and Australian flags, many in national costume.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP
Catholic Communications

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Pope Selectors Have New Look (Newsday)
New Zealand Catholics honour Pope's Silver Jubilee (Catholic Communications NZ)
Cardinals Say Pope Able to Do Mission (Newsday/AP)
An ailing pope: the Vatican's dilemma (Straits Times)
Pope's schedule belies his suffering (USA Today/AP)
Cardinals pay tribute to John Paul's 25 years as Pope (AP)
Cardinals stand behind hobbled Pope (The Star/AP)
Pope, opening week of celebrations, thanks young people for support (Catholic News Service)
Pope's faith, intellect still strong, former student says (Catholic News Service)
Pope could have been great actor, says old theater companion (Catholic News Service)
Cardinals speak about plans for incapacitated pope as worry mounts (USA Today/AP)
Pope Won't Resign, Senior Cardinal and Friend Say (Reuters)
Pope John Paul - a Giant Bent by Illness (Variety/Reuters)
Reporters flock to Rome for week's events (Catholic World News)
Cardinal Laghi says Pope has no intention of resigning (Catholic World News)
Comment: Political Pope (Manila Times/AFP)

15 Oct 2003