Peru cardinal makes predictions on new pope

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani

A Peruvian cardinal predicted Wednesday that Benedict XVI’s successor as pope will be elected before Easter Week.

“The election will be, with certainty, before Holy Week, and that’s the way I think it will be,” said Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani in a telephone interview from Rome with Peruvian radio station RPP.

“The coordination meetings have not begun and no decision has yet been made on when the conclave will be held, but I clearly expect that before Holy Week we will have among us a new holy father,” he said.

Easter Week runs from March 25-31.

Cipriani, 69, is one of 116 cardinals who will elect a new pope to succeed Benedict, whose last day as pope is Thursday.

Benedict stunned the world by announcing he was resigning, the first pope to do so since the Middle Ages.

Cipriani acknowledged that the Catholic church was at “an important moment” in its history, and faced many problems.

“Obviously we will take advantage of these days to get to know better the church’s situation, and especially that of Rome, to try to find the best solution,” he said

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