Catholics ponder future with new pope
SAO PAULO – Faithful attending Sunday Mass on five continents for the first time since Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement had different ideas about who should next lead the Roman Catholic Church, with people suggesting everything from a Latin American pope to one more like the conservative, Polish-born John Paul II. What most agreed on, however, was the church is in dire need of a comeback.
Clergy sex abuse scandals and falling numbers of faithful have taken their toll on the church, and many parishioners said the next pope should be open about the problems rather than ignore them.
Worshippers in the developing world prayed for a pope from a poorer, non-European nation, while churchgoers in Europe said what was more important was picking a powerful figure who could stop the steep losses in Catholic numbers.
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