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2013 Papal Conclave: ‘From the New Pope, We Simply Expect Courage’

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 27, 2013 5:21 PM EST

In the midst of the sexual abuse crisis now hounding the Roman Catholic church which ironically is in its most critical period in selecting the new pope, believers of the faith say it is not enough that the highly anticipated new leader is just plain spiritual or has charisma to convert bigots into the secular religion.

"From the new pope, we'd simply expect courage," David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told reporters at a news conference in Rome on Tuesday.

"We long for the day when church officials announce that this cardinal or this bishop is being demoted because church officials have found proof of wrongdoing and church officials want to clean things up."

The shock resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Britain's most senior Catholic clergyman, on Monday, who observers said was pressured to step down by no less than the outgoing Pope Benedict XVI himself, could be a most improved signal of better things to come for the secular Roman Catholic faith.

But then again, there are still some cardinals alleged to have conducted misfits on the job but refused to renege on their main responsibility as a prelate, and that is to elect the upcoming 266th pope.

Although many of the men responsible to elect the new pope hope their choice would ultimately help the church heal in light of the global sexual abuse crisis scandal that tainted the religion, it still goes without saying that a massive resignation or demotion at this point will not do it any good also.

"There's so many of them," Justice Anne Burke, a judge in Illinois who served on the American bishops' first advisory board 10 years ago, told the New York Times.

"They all have participated in one way or another in having actual information about criminal conduct, and not doing anything about it. What are you going to do? They're all not going to participate in the conclave?"

Indeed, papabile or not, many if not most of the 115 cardinals are tainted.

The general makeup of the cardinals who will be voting include 9.4 per cent from the United States, Europe, 52 per cent, Italy 24 per cent, Latin America 16 per cent, and 9.4 per cent each from Africa and Asia. 

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