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Cardinal O’Malley was not sure he could identify a single “top priority” for selecting the next pontiff.

“Certainly there are some wonderful candidates there, and we all recognize their talent and their goodness and their competence,” he said.

“Certainly our people want a holy man to be the Pope. We’ve been very blessed in the last century to have extraordinarily learned and holy men as Pope. Many have been beatified or canonized.”

He said the next Pope must be “a man of deep faith” with an ability to communicate that faith. The Boston cardinal said Catholics are “anxious to have someone who can touch the hearts, particularly of our young people.” The next Pope must carry on the “new evangelization” and inspire those who have left Catholic practice to return to their faith. Cardinal DiNardo said Catholics want someone who can fill the role of the Apostle Peter and fulfill Jesus’ command “feed my sheep.” A shepherd of the Church must give “good teaching” and “encouragement” while serving as “a principle of unity,” he said.

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Cardinal George said he imagines each cardinal has a mental list of primary candidates and secondary candidates that shapes their “more intimate” conversations with each other. He said their questions for each other might include what kind of person a candidate is and how he would react to a certain situation. He said the Gospel is from God and so there will “always be those areas in which society and the Church don’t meet.”

“A good pastor will mediate those (differences) as best he can without betraying the faith or his people, in such a way that the Church remains an active agent for transformation of the world.”

Papal Conclave 2013 Watch: The Job Description For The Next Pope  was originally published on

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