Cardinal DiNardo apologized that he may not have an answer to the task of choosing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, because it is the first time he will ever participate in a conclave.
He says he expects the dean of the College of Cardinals to call everyone to Rome at the end of the month after Benedict's resignation takes effect.
"When the Papal See is vacant — the Diocese of Rome — the cardinals as a group do the everyday work for the See of Roman for all the church universal as they prepare for the conclave — where you know, conclave comes from the word 'turn the key'. It's when they lock you into the Sistine Chapel, so that you will have those days to elect a successor of St Peter."
He says in many ways the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston mirrors that of a large portion of the world, with so many cultures. When asked who he thought might make a good pope.
"I'm sure you'd love me to give (laughter). Though I love the idea of the question, I am certainly not gonna to speculate. I'm not gonna speculate at. There's no question that there are some cardinals from what we'd like to call 3rd World countries who are well known, and there are obviously others. That's going to be up to the cardinals as we meet, and I think out of that we'll probably emerge some names."
He says the divisions in the Catholic world have become more solidified and locked in a culture war over contraception, sexual preference and the role of women in the church — among other issues. He says it's significant that a new pope will hopefully be chosen in time for Easter.
"We'll be doing our conclave in the midst of all the people I hope, celebrating Lent and observing Lent with heart mind and soul, and I would ask that among the various thing to pray for — is please for the Church at large that the cardinals will elect a worthy successor of Saint Peter, and in Galveston-Houston. I'm about to send a letter out to my parishioners and say please pray for me!"
He adds the cardinals are in unchartered waters and will probably meet in small groups to brainstorm until the conclave begins.