Local Parishioners Pray on Pope Selection

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CLEVELAND-- “Today we ask that the person who takes the place of Benedict the XVI is first and foremost a holy man,” said Bishop Richard Lennon.

Even he was surprised by the crowd on Tuesday at noon at the St. John Cathedral, on East 9th & Superior in downtown Cleveland.

A couple hundred people focused their prayers on the conclave and the 115 cardinals selecting a new pope.

“What we prayed for today was very important,” said Bishop Lennon.  “The whole notion of holiness, we really want a leader who can bring us closer to God.”

Lennon believes the more you love God, the more you’ll love your neighbor and we need a pope focused on God and the people.

Local Catholic parishioner Mark Gianetta said, “A third world pope might be a good thing to show that this church is a little more open than it used to be to change.”

Susie Chapman, also Catholic, added:  “I would love to have the first black pope." When our Gabe Spiegel mentioned that there's a favorite from Nigeria and Ghana, so maybe that could happen, Chapman responded, "I hope so.  So we just pray that the right decision is made and we’ll see some smoke very soon.”