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World Watches As Process to Select New Pope Begins

11:35 PM, Mar 3, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Most of the cardinals are in place in Rome and people around the world are watching as they begin the process of selecting a pope.

Read: Pope Benedict Gives Final Statement, Leaves Vatican for Good

The now-pope emeritus resigned Thursday, but one of his last acts as pope was to change the rules so that the cardinals wouldn't have to wait 15 days to begin the election process.

In Greensboro, parishioners attended mass as usual Sunday but it's the first time without a holy father in eight years.

"There is a section in the prayer where we mention the pope by name and I had to make sure I had a little there just to say, no pope," said Father Eric Kowalski, Our Lady of Grace.

"It'll be an exciting prayerful, little scary you know, but basically I'm so far on the ladder, but I'm sure it will work!" said Sue Harmer-Sommer, Catholic.

"There is anticipation and everyone is asking, "the question." Who's it going to be? And do you know anything, do you have an inside information? That type of thing," said Father Kowalski.

Father Eric Kowalski says he has no inside scoop. The selection process, or Conclave,  happens behind closed doors.

The cardinals vote on who they believe should be pope and then burn the ballots. 

Read: Greensboro Priest Discusses Choosing New Pope

When the smoke is black, they haven't agreed but when it is white, a new pope has been named.

"It's like catholic Mardi Gras, ok? It's just beautiful because you can hear the cheers. The decibel level in the TV goes up measurably," said Harmer-Sommer.

"It shouldn't be very long I would think, before then, we will be memorizing a new name!" said Father Kowalski.

According to the Catholic News Service the process shouldn't take long.  

Pope Benedict was elected in two days with four votes after the death of John Paul, the second.  

John Paul was elected in two days with eight votes.

Father Kowalski says as long as the process takes, the faithful will be waiting.

WFMY News 2

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