Catholics Discuss Qualities In A New Pope, Pray As Election Nears

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By Catalina Trivino

In just two days, Roman Catholic cardinals will start the election for a new Pope. It's a decision being watched by the world AND right here in Alabama... as people wait for the signal of white smoke from Vatican City.

The stage is almost set for this papal election and Catholics in every nation are watching, waiting to hear who will lead the world's largest church -- including parishioners at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Greenville, as the countdown for the conclave continues.

"People are eagerly waiting and praying for this process," Said St. Elizabeth's Catholic priest, Tony Xavier.

Members say they're praying the right person is chosen, but it could be days before that decision is made.

"I just pray that our next pope will be the rock that we need, I'm extremely conservative my self and I really think our church and our world needs a very strong Catholic," Said Catholic church member, Teresa Cascio.

It's the first time a pope has resigned in nearly 600 years. And to make this an even more historical moment, the election process is happening during the season of Lent.

115 Roman Catholic Cardinals start voting Tuesday afternoon, but only 77 votes make the majority and final choice. John Ackerman will be one of millions who's hoping for an answer with white smoke.

"Conservative, going back to the basics. And I hope they will get a little tougher on the people. We've made everything too easy for us," Said Ackerman, another Catholic church member, after we asked about the qualities he hopes for in the next pope.

But Xavier, says it's the pope's holiness that will be key in this conclave.

"I think that's the only quality he needs, nothing more than that -- give his life to the will of God. Then everything will be perfect," Said Xavier.

The cardinals will meet again on Monday to talk about the qualities they want in a new leader.

There will be a special mass Tuesday morning. The voting process will take place after that.

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