Stop speculating about next Pope, keep praying for this one says Philippino Archbishop

In a statement given yesterday, Archbishop Oscar Cruz, of Lingayen-Dagupan in the Philippines made media waves when he told Catholics to stop speculating on who would replace Pope John Paul II and instead, pray for his recovery.

He called the speculation, which has recently taken center stage in the world media, “one of the most futile things they can do.”

“The successor of Peter is the concern of Christ”, he said, “It is none of our business."

Faithful across the globe have been offering their prayers for the 84-year old Holy Father who underwent a tracheotomy surgery last Thursday.

The Vatican announced yesterday that the Pope has started speaking again and is recovering well, but Cruz said that, “while the whole Catholic world prays for him, there are now some people here and there, who would rather speculate, rationalize and even pick his successor.”

He added that, “While God has the Holy Father and the Church in his provident palm, there are certain sectors of society who presume to make predictions as to who should take his place and what would happen to the Church."

The Archbishop also pointed out that those who enter a papal conclave expecting to come out Pope, usually come out cardinals. He added that before John Paul II’s pontificate, many had never heard of the Polish cardinal.

"He went to Rome for the conclave of cardinals with a return plane ticket to Poland”, Cruz said. “This ticket was not used. The rest is history."

The Archbishop noted that this kind of conjecture has been happening in the Church for nearly 2000 years, and that Catholics’ time would be well spent in prayer for the ailing Pope.

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