A Japanese Cardinal paints a portrait of the next pope, in his view.

Source: FSSPX News


The new Japanese cardinal, Stephen Fumio Hamao, President of the Pontifical Council for Migrant Workers gave his views in Churches of Asia, an agency of the Foreign Missions of Paris, as reported by Zenit on November 26.

Cardinal Hamao thinks that the next pope “should be like John-Paul II”, a man who really understands other cultures, other religions and the customs of different nations.

“Evangelization is truly important”. That’s why he would like to see the new pope open to other ideas, because “dialoging with other religions is essential”.

Regarding the insistence some show, including the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in wanting to proclaim in season and out of season that Jesus is the only Savior, the cardinal maintains that it is an obstacle to dialog between religions. “They don’t understand. They cannot understand”, he said. Catholics believe that Jesus Christ “is the only Savior” and they know that the Christian religion “is a revealed religion, which is true”, but “they must proceed gradually”, because “this proclamation can only be done in stages”.

Concerning a new pope, the cardinal would like him to be “an open, intelligent man who welcomes everyone, someone who’ll listen to us” and “who will make sure that the Roman Curia knows how to comfort the local churches”. “The Roman Curia is there to serve the local Churches, he affirmed, not to give them orders or criticize them. We must encourage the local churches, listen to them, hear their problems and help them in their difficulties. This should be the attitude of the Roman Curia and that of the Holy Father.” Msgr. Hamao also thinks it would be “very important” for the future pope to have pastoral experience as a diocesan bishop like John-Paul II had. “Pastoral experience is a very important factor in the choice of a new pope.”

It would be good, he also affirmed, for the new pope to convoke a third Vatican Council. The synods of bishops “don’t solve anything. They keep saying the same things. It’s nothing but repetitions. In synods, the bishops make proposals and the Holy Father publishes an apostolic exhortation and then, in the end, nothing is decided”. Of this absence of concrete results at the conclusion of synods, the cardinal said once more: “I don’t think that is the fault of the Holy Father. But the fact is that nothing changes in the structures of the Church. This does not build up the faith”.

Msgr. Hamao said he shares the views of cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, archbishop-emeritus of Milan, who thinks that “many questions” have arisen since the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, questions which demand to be seriously debated by the body of the worlds bishops gathered in a council, so that appropriate decisions can be made. The cardinal thinks a council could deal with the problem of sensitivity to other cultures, especially the non-Christian cultures of Asia and Africa. The program should include the question of dialog with other religions. “Bioethics, cloning, respect for life, the environment and ecology” are also questions that should be dealt with.

When he has to vote in the next conclave, Cardinal Hamao says he first wants to note the state of mind and visions of the future of the candidate more than his nationality. He also hopes the new pope will be multi-lingual so as to be more easily understood by all.