Toppo glad to do God's will

Ranchi, March 22: Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo returned to Ranchi this afternoon from Vatican City, Rome, after the historic conclave that elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis.

"I have done what was God's will," Toppo, also Ranchi Archbishop, told The Telegraph after landing at Birsa Munda Airport. "I reached New Delhi around 2am. Collecting luggage took time and there was no way I could have rested as I had to take a connecting flight to Ranchi later in the day itself," the priest candidly confessed problems normal fliers have to face.

But though he said he was "a bit tired", the workaholic 73-year-old added he had a lot of tasks to do. After all, he was home after nearly a month. Toppo left for Rome on February 26 to choose a new Pope when then Pope Benedict XVI announced he would abdicate.

On the new Pope to lead 1.2 billion Catholics, Cardinal Toppo said: "God sprung a big surprise on March 13."

"Contrary to media reports, an Argentine Cardinal became Pope. In the run-up to the conclave that began on March 12, there were a lot of reports indicating favourites. But God had other plans. Pope Francis has won over the world with his simplicity and down-to-earth approach," he added.

When asked how the new Pope would address burning issues confronting the Roman Catholic Church in the second decade of the 21st century, the Cardinal only replied: "On March 13, God sprung a big surprise while choosing Pope Francis. I am confident God has more surprises in store."

In April 2005, after Pope John Paul II's death, Toppo had gone to the Vatican to take part in his first papal poll where Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who took the name of Benedict XVI, was elected the Pope.

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