Rochester, N.Y. – Rochester Catholics are watching with the rest of the world as they await their new spiritual leader.
About a dozen parishioners at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester gathered for a special service Sunday night to pray for the 115 cardinal - electors taking part in the Papal Conclave Tuesday.
“In some ways we are in solidarity with them and we as a community are praying for them as they make this very important, momentous decision in the life of the church in who will be succeeding Pope Benedict XVI,” Father Kevin McKenna, pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral said.
McKenna said the church looks forward to new leadership.
He says he's open to the possibility of a non-European pope who will bring nations together.
“A person that comes from another country will certainly bring different perspectives, maybe different approaches and I think that's very exciting for us,” McKenna said.
Parishioners also hope the new pope will help pull the church from the shadows of scandal of sex abuse.
“An administrator who can deal with the issues, the grave issues and challenges the church faces at this time,” Sacred Heart parishioner Eileen Osterhout said.
“It is very disheartening and I think the church is trying to take appropriate measures to deal with the crisis and to deal with those issues and perhaps there will be some re-energizing as this new pope takes over to deal with these issues,” McKenna said.
Cardinals have been meeting for the past six days in Rome discussing the future.
They took a break Sunday for informal gatherings to fan out across Rome and celebrate Sunday Mass at local parishes.
Formal meetings resume on Monday.