Vatican aid chief visits Jordan before papal vote

AP News
Posted: Feb 20, 2013 6:55 AM

FUHEIS, Jordan (AP) — The Vatican's top aid overseer and possible papal contender has held high-level meetings in Jordan to assess Catholic relief work for Syrian refugees.

Cardinal Robert Sarah says it is "difficult" to comment on Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation, which takes effect next week.

The 67-year-old Sarah of Guinea is mentioned as a possible papal candidate if the conclave of fellow cardinals looks to Africa for the first time in the modern age. The papal electors will gather in Vatican City in March.

Sarah is president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which organizes Catholic relief activities worldwide. On Wednesday, he attended a regional meeting of the international Catholic relief agency Caritas in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

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Sarah also met Syrian refugees and Jordan's King Abdullah II to discuss aid services.