Greg Barker, the Climate Change minister, has recalled how Cardinal Peter Turkson used Google ahead of his decision to vote for Benedict XVI to be pope.Greg Barker has given Mandrake an intriguing insight into how the cardinals go about the business of choosing a new pope.
The Climate Change minister was seated beside Cardinal Peter Turkson at a dinner he attended last year as a member of the delegation that Baroness Varsi led to the Vatican to mark the 30th anniversary of full diplomatic links between Britain and the Holy See.
“I asked the cardinal if he had taken part in the vote for Benedict XVI and he said that he had, but, as a relatively new cardinal at the time from sub-Saharan Africa, he wasn’t altogether familiar with the form,” says Barker.
“It was explained to him that all the cardinals who were taking part in the vote would be given folders with information about the candidates to assist them as they made their choices. When he got his folders, he found, however, the barest biographical information in them, which wasn’t, really, a lot of help.”
So Barker wondered how Turkson, who has been talked about as a potential successor to Benedict XVI, managed to make his choice.
“Well, I digested what information I had, listened to the conversations that took place in the room at the Vatican the cardinals had, and then I got down on my knees in prayer to ask for guidance.
“And then I went online and looked up the main candidates to find out what I could about them.”
Barker’s advice to anyone wanting to be the next pope? “Make sure your Facebook page is looking good”.
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