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Vatican

Indonesian cardinal says poor eyesight will keep him from conclave

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At least one of the 117 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope will not come to Rome because of illness.

Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, the 78-year-old retired archbishop of Jakarta, told the Rome-based AsiaNews agency Thursday that his health and particularly the "progressive deterioration" of his eyesight led to his decision not to travel to Rome.

Pope asks cardinal to lead financially troubled religious order

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Pope Benedict XVI has entrusted the leadership of the financially troubled Sons of the Immaculate Conception to Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

The religious order, which has about 400 priests and brothers, runs a major hospital in Rome specializing in diseases and cancers of the skin. Its members also work in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Women in the teachings and lives of John Paul and Benedict

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"We need a pontiff who feels totally comfortable among women, one who respects rather than fears female intelligence. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, led by their limited, distorted, one-dimensional view of women and femininity, separated the lives of the hierarchy from the lives of the people,” writes Catholic theologian, A. Regina Schulte. “From both popes have come some benign, non-specific testaments to feminine qualities such as a woman’s “genius” and “superiority” (think Mother’s Day cards).

It is a widely held belief that, aware of the indefatigable character of women, the pope and hierarchy continue to stifle feminine power because they fear it,” she writes in an essay set to appear in Corpus Reports, the bi-monthly journal of CORPUS. “A just and equitable rearranging of the deck chairs, starting an entirely new way or seeing and working with women, as respected equals, sharing the same basic baptismal rites, is long overdue.”

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