For local parishioners attending mass this Sunday, they did it for the first time without Pope Benedict as leader of their Church. Our Karen Tararache asked people at Mater Christi in Albany if they felt any different knowing it was the first Sunday without Pope Benedict.
ALBANY, N.Y.-- When we asked Zeke Caldon if he knew that Sunday was the first Sunday without the pope, he responded, "Whoa!"
The last time parishioners faced mass without a pope on a Sunday was the day after Pope John Paul died eight years ago.
Bill Toomey of Albany said, "What will happen in the next eight years compared to the last eight years are insignificant in the total history of the Catholic Church in the world, but to the people who are living through it obviously it's very important."
Pope Benedict's retirement, the first in almost 600 years, garnered reaction from people of all ages.
Caroline Dollar of Albany said, "It's surprising because none of the popes have ever really stepped down in, like, a lot of years."
Parishioner Beate Tobin said, "I'm from the same state as the pope was, and I was very happy we had a German pope, and I loved him, and I'm just very sad."
And waiting to see who the conclave will choose next hasn't stopped anyone from making their own predictions.
Dollar said, "I think they're looking at people from a Third World country because it'd be good for someone from there."
Fr. Kenneth Doyle said, "Certainly the church is strongest right now in the Third World, in Latin America and in Africa, so I think there is an opportunity for the next pope to come from one of those areas which of course would be something new.
Regardless of the outcome, for some parishioners at Mater Christi, the most important thing is...
"Someone who cares about people as much as this pope did that's for sure," said Barbara Brundage of Albany.
"I think he's going to be a good pope like Pope Benedict," said Zeke.