Japanese cardinal hopes next pope is like John Paul

One of two Japanese cardinals said he hopes the new Pope will be similar to Pope John Paul II.

Seiichi Cardinal Shirayanagi, 76, will take part in his first papal election next week. In accordance with canon law, the cardinal resigned as the archbishop of Tokyo after his 75th birthday, but he is still permitted to vote in the papal elections until the age of 80.

"I want to support someone who can continue the course taken by Pope John Paul II, who observed modern society and made contributions to society," Cardinal Shirayanagi told The Japan Times Sunday in Tokyo.

The cardinal, who received his red beret in 1994, said he would decide who to vote for based on careful readings of career histories and sermons.

Cardinal Shirayanagi remarked on Pope John Paul’s difficult youth in Poland and said the third-longest reigning pontiff sought to build a world in which all people could live humanely. 

"He also preached the importance of dialogue among conflicting parties, such as the time before the war on Iraq," Shirayanagi told the Japanese newspaper.

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