Honduran cardinal reflects on challenges facing today's church

2013-03-01 Vatican Radio

Cardinals from around the world are making their way to Rome in anticipation of the upcoming conclave, during which the successor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, will be elected. Among them is Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and president of Caritas Internationalis.

Speaking with Emer McCarthy, the cardinal emphasized how, before beginning to discern who the right successor of the See of Peter should be, it is vital to first understand the challenges facing the Church at this time.

“We are in the year of faith,” Cardinal Maradiaga said, “and it is necessary to think about how can we continue the essential mission of the Church.”

“Pope Paul VI used to say, the Church exists to evangelize. This is our mission.”

The Latin American prelate cited materialism as being a central obstacle in spreading the Gospel. “God has been displaced by materialism, and the Church exists to announce God and His loving care of the world. This is our main challenge.”

When asked about the role of prayer in the discernment process, Cardinal Maradiaga said:
“I think the Holy Spirit will be present. It will be my second Conclave, and I hope it will be the last! Because it’s not easy to say ‘farewell!’ to our dear pope.”

Listen to Emer McCarthy’s full interview with Cardinal Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras: