Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

SA church leader, Cardinal Napier, visits Isle of Man

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

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier will arrive on the Isle of Man later ahead of a four-day visit.

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

On Wednesday, he will celebrate mass at St Mary's church, Douglas.

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

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".

Paul Davies, 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."

Cardinal Napier, born in 1941 in Swartberg, South Africa, first became a bishop in 1980. In 1992, he succeeded Denis Hurley as Archbishop of Durban.

The Cardinals of the Catholic Church are the most senior clergymen below the Pope.

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