SA church leader, Cardinal Napier, to give island Mass

The Archbishop of Durban, Cardinal Napier Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has helped to elect two Popes since 2001

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The head of the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier is to celebrate Mass at a special service on the Isle of Man.

The Archbishop of Durban who is on a four-day visit to the island, will lead the Mass at St Mary's church, Douglas at 18:30 GMT.

Cardinal Napier will also meet with senior figures in the Catholic church.

He was one of 115 cardinals who took part in the conclave at the Vatican to elect Pope Francis.

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier

  • Born 8 March 1941
  • Ordained a priest in 1970
  • First became a bishop in 1980
  • Succeeded Denis Hurley as archbishop of Durban in 1992

He said: "I will talk about the way the Pope is elected - I think people will be interested in that.

"I will also talk about what a Cardinal is and what he does and my experiences of helping to elect two Popes since 2001.

"I will also talk about what the challenges are for the church and how we can assist each other spiritually and psychologically".

Cardinal Napier, who was ordained as a priest in 1970, is also scheduled to meet with government officials from the International Development Committee.

Paul Davies, an island businessman and personal friend, said: "The cardinal has become an important patron of the island's business community, as all of the Church's European fundraising is administered from here.

"He is also one of the most soulful, humble and inspirational people I have ever met."

During his visit he will also meet with the island's Chief Minister and Lieutenant governor.

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