News of Benedict XVI’s departure has gripped the world and many of the cardinals are fielding media requests for comment about his pontificate and the process for selecting his successor.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, a former archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who is in residence in Knoxville, is one of the U.S. cardinals in demand for his insight into the papacy.
Cardinal Rigali was in the College of Cardinals in 2005 and served in the conclave that elected Joseph Alois Ratzinger as the pontiff to succeed Blessed John Paul II.
Cardinal Rigali appeared Feb. 28 with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of the Diocese of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on ABC’s Good Morning America news show, where they were interviewed in Rome by TV news personality George Stephanopolous just hours before His Holiness Benedict XVI stepped down.
An ABC news crew has been following Cardinal Rigali in Knoxville as well as in Rome for an upcoming report on the papal succession.
The Good Morning America appearance was one of several local, national and international media interviews that Cardinal Rigali has agreed to do as a way to help the faithful and people around the world better understand this historic moment in the life of the Church.
Cardinal Rigali and the other 114 papal electors in the College of Cardinals will remain at the Vatican until they select the new pontiff.