It’s the first Sunday since Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world and announced he would resign effective the end of the month. It’s an action that hasn’t happened for centuries. We talked with people at Mass and asked what they hope for in the next pope?
Inside St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Omaha, many gathered for Sunday Mass. It’s a usual service with singing, worship and prayer, but on the minds of many was an unusual scenario. They know their church leader, Pope Benedict, is resigning.
“It’s pretty much unprecedented in my lifetime and other people’s lifetime so it was shocking and something out of the ordinary for sure,” said Michelle Gergen. Gergen and her friend Megan Slattery were surprised to hear the news. Now, like many others, they are wondering who will takeover.
Gergen hopes the new pope will connect with the younger generation. “Just really having that connection with the youth and knowing how to relate to them is very important."
Father Ryan Lewis said there are certain attributes a pope needs. “The pope has to be a world traveler, have linguistic skills, but above all that he needs to be a holy man. A man of prayer, of charisma and he needs to really send the message of Christ to the world.”
The Pope’s resignation is effective February 28th. On March 1st, it’s expected the Cardinals will pick a date for the conclave to begin and then elect the next pope. In the meantime these followers say they will be praying.
“I will be praying for my Pope and for the Cardinals as they make this decision and that they will be led by God as they make this decision,” said Slattery.
Father Lewis said the conclave could begin as early as March 8th to the 10th. He’s thinking there could be a new pope elected by Holy Week, which starts March 24th.