Local residents react to Pope's last day - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Local residents react to Pope's last day

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In Michiana people are talking about the outgoing pope and speculating about the new pope.  Catholics in Michiana who are watching this closely said this is a new era for the Catholic Church and they are waiting anxiously to see who will be chosen as the next Pope.

Seeing Pope Benedict the 16th leave the Vatican for the last time as Pope Thursday stirred up several emotions for students at Notre Dame.  "It's still kind of shocking and a bit of a surprise," said Janel Allison.  Alex Kasparie said, "sobering experience to know there's no one at the head of the church right now and the next pope will have a great many issues to face."

Joseph Incandela is an Associate Dean and Professor of Religious Studies at Saint Mary's College.
He said until a new Pope is chosen it's too early to tell what the Pope retiring will really mean for the world, "It's a time of uncertainty."

Incandela said there's a chance the cardinals could make history when they pick a new Pope.  This might have huge implications for 2nd or 3rd world if Pope comes from that part of the globe."

And that's exactly what some in Michiana would like to see happen.  ""I would love to see the global south represented," said Matthew Erdel.  He isn't Catholic but works for the Crossing, a faith based alternative school.  He said the pope still influences other Christian religions.  "The Christian faith has spread globally and there are many challenges that face a global church that hopefully a Pope outside Europe will be better attuned to."

Other Michiana Residents had this to say.  "I'd like to see him travel around more.  Maybe come to the United States," said Gayle Books.   Joe Dietz said, "You get a young guy in there they might stay a long time."

And they'd also like someone who can bring the Catholic church together.  "I hope to see that he helps unify the church more," said Allison.  Kasparie said, A consensus builder.  There's a lot of fracturing in the church right now and I think the next Pope will have to work hard to unify the church."

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