So. Fla. Catholics stay positive through prayer
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Catholics across South Florida as well as around the globe sent their papal prayers for the next head of the catholic church.
They sang hymns, chanted prayers, and read bible scriptures like any other Sunday. "I believe that right now is a time for prayer," said Rita Daley. But for more than 1 billion Catholics around the globe, this was the first week of worship without the guidance of a pontiff. "In the interim we know that our church will be strong and faithful," said Daley.
Pope Benedict the 16th stepped down as leader of the Catholic church Thursday. It marks the first time a pope has left the Vatican voluntarily in 600 years. "The people of the church right now," said Ernst Cagauate, "we were in shock but that was God's will."
Cardinal Bertome sealed the doors of the papal apartment behind him. They won't re-open until the church chooses a new leader. "My hope is that it will be a very short process," said Joyce Rutherford, "so that we won't be without a leader."
Cardinals have been called to the Vatican from around the world to start the process of choosing the next pope. "There are still some that have not arrived yet," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, "and they've been convened to the first meeting Monday morning."
Pope Benedict was known as a conservatist and traditionalist in the faith, but will a new pope, perhaps one from Africa or Latin America bring a change to the church? "The new pope we don't know yet," said Cagauate. "They're talking about a new black pope and I will be happy if that happens but it's God's will."
"It's the plan of God," said Raymond Damier, "so it doesn't matter who's going to be the pope."
Catholics preparing for Easter are also preparing for the future of their faith and the naming of a new holy leader to take his place as the new pope.
The college of cardinals will begin meeting Monday in the Vatican City. They will then work out the details of the formal conclave. The world will be alerted that a new pope has been chosen when white smoke is emitted from the Sistine Chapel.
Easter Sunday falls on March 31. Catholics in South Florida and around the world are hoping that a new pope will be in place by that holiday.
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