As cardinals gathered in Rome to select a new pope from among their ranks, local Catholic churches held special masses.
The Most Rev. Timothy McDonnell, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield did something Tuesday for just the fifth time since 1963. He said a Mass for the Election of a Pope. McDonnell was joined by 15 priests to con-celebrate the special mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield. He prayed for a new pope whose most important traits will be holiness and wisdom.
There was no pope chosen on the first day of voting by the cardinals. Bishop McDonnell said he asked all parishes in the diocese to pray for the cardinals as they pick a new shepherd for the church.
Tom Moran came to the noon mass at St. Michaels because he said it is an important day for the Catholic church. The next pope will have to make some changes.
Jeannette Rivet says the church needs a pope who will appeal to young people and get them back to church.
Rose Ann Caracciolo said she prays for a new pope wise enough to know what the church needs
Rev. William Pomerleau , pastor of Our Lady Of the Sacred Heart in Springfield, is an expert on Catholic church procedure. He said the next pope will mark a new era.
Pomerleau said there is no leading candidate, or leading continent for the next pope. If he’s an Italian it’ll be someone who knows the world beyond Italy, and conversely, if the next pope comes from Latin America, he will likely have had some experience in Rome.
Every country has its favorites to be pope. Here in the United States it’s Cardinal Dolan of New York and Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, whom Bishop McDonnell knows well.
No American, let alone non-European, has been pope.
Reporting from Springfield I’m Paul Tuthill, WAMC News