Local Catholics Discuss What They Want In Next Pope - New York News

Local Catholics Discuss What They Want In Next Pope

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A mobile phone shows the Twitter handle for Benedict XVI. A mobile phone shows the Twitter handle for Benedict XVI.
CENTER CITY -

On the day that Pope Benedict XVI stepped down-- the first pope to resign his position in 600 years-- Catholics in Philadelphia thanked God for his service, and prayed for his successor.

Without question, it was day of history like no Catholic alive has ever seen before.  During noon mass at the Cathedral Basilica in Center City, Monsignor Arthur Rodgers called on his parishioners to pray at 2 o'clock, the precise moment Pope Benedict officially left his position.  And then the pastor called on all Catholics to go forward, though some couldn't help but look back at Benedict's reign.  "I was pleased that, given his age, that he got to Twitter," Paula Harvey told FOX 29.  Harvey is a staffer at Catholic Social Services.  "The move however has to be into the 21st century," Harvey insisted.

Pope Benedict's final tweet:  he thanked his followers for their love and support.  A short time later, the Vatican deleted all of his messages, but is saving the twitter account for his successor.  A pope many Catholics pray will embrace the future of the church.  "If you want to get with young people, you have to be in the medias they're using," Harvey explained.  "Social media, absolutely."

Young people are often hard to find at masses like the one presided over by Monsignor Rodgers.  John Maier told Fox 29 he doesn't see many people in his age range.  "I see an age gap, from maybe 18 to 35," Maier said.  "The majority of people are either younger than that or older."

And so as the church transitions to its new leader, many Catholics are hoping the next pope will be more youthful than the frail, elderly Benedict. "Younger attitude, and strong, not afraid," hoped Suann Maier of Yardley, PA.  "Things happen so rapidly, you have to be able to move on the media and talk."

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