By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Catholics attending Sunday mass at an East Mount Airy church were talking about their first Sunday without a pope at the helm in the Vatican.
At St. Raymond of Penafort Church on Vernon Road, parishioners say Mass was an unusual experience as people reflected on the pope’s decision to leave the office.
“Usually, you know, the retirement plan for a pope is usually the casket. So it’s kind of strange to have Pope Emeritus Benedict.”
“The Catholic people are strong people and they’re strong in their faith, so not having one, it’s a symbolic thing more than functional for me.”
“Gives us pause for concern but also a challenge.”
Fr. Chris Walsh, who celebrated the Sunday Mass, says it’s a transition for him, too.
“It’s always odd because we mention the pope’s name in the Eucharistic prayer and so remembering to not mention it is something that I certainly have to keep in mind.”
Walsh says the faithful are praying for the cardinals that they be guided by the Holy Spirit in selecting the next pope.