The Malta Independent 19 May 2022, Thursday

Cardinal Grech named as possible successor to Pope Francis

Saturday, 14 May 2022, 10:37 Last update: about 5 days ago

Cardinal Mario Grech is being named as a possible successor to Pope Francis.

In an article on the Times of London, Grech is listed among the possible “papabili” in succession to the ailing pointiff.

Grech, 65, was elevated to Cardinal in 2020. He had previously been Bishop of Gozo between 2005 and 2019.

Grech was dubbed as a “conservative but also close to Pope Francis” who could attract votes from progressives and conservatives at the conclave, the report said.

Speculation is being raised at the Vatican as to whether the Pope, in whose last appearances he was seen using a wheelchair, will be abdicating as his predecessor did.

Pope Benedict XVI had resigned in 2013, making way for the election of Pope Francis.

It would be unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church that two popes resign, and a third appointed while they are both still alive. Pope Benedict is 95 years old, Pope Francis is 85.

According to the editor of Vatican’s news site Crux John Allen, apart from Grech, the other possible successors are Hungarian cardinal Peter Erdo, Dutch cardinal Wim Eijk and Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet.

“Malta’s Mario Grech is also interesting since he had a conservative reputation but became pro-Francis, although some conservatives may hope he would revert to form if elected Pope,” Allen said.

 

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