Berks Catholics react to pope's departure
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 05:27:05 AM CST
Catholics in Berks County have been closely following the events unfolding in Rome.
Worshippers at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Reading said farewell to Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, and gave thanks for his eight years of service.
"It's a historic day for the whole, universal, Roman Catholic church," said Father George Winne, who lead worshippers in an all-Spanish mass Thursday night.
But many were also praying for an end to the scandals that have plagued some Berks County Catholic churches.
In 2009, Father Luis Bonilla was removed from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Reading after police say he admitted to an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old woman.
Father Cletus Onyegbule was removed from his post at St. Ignatius Loyola church in Spring Township after authorities said he impregnated an 18-year-old woman in the rectory at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bethlehem.
Authorities added that Father Onyegbule also paid for the abortion.
So Father Winne said the new pope must be strong spiritually.
"You know there are things in the church today, and you know there will probably be things a few years down the line," said Father Winne. "What is most important is he [the next pope] needs to be a man of faith that can lead and guide us in that faith that we need."
Worshippers also shared what characteristics they're looking for in a new pope.
"We need a new pope, you know what I mean, take care of the church, the community, the people, and help us wherever they can," said Hector Luna, parishioner at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church.
In just a few days, more than 100 specially selected cardinals from around the world will meet in Rome to select the new pope.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woman rescued from car fire seeks person who saved her life
3 children found locked in a car in Sands Casino parking lot
Former Hamburg teachers' aide guilty in student sex case
Firefighters make quick work of funeral home fire in Sinking Spring
Student suspended for saying 'bless you' after sneeze
Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles
Showers, thunderstorms possible into early Friday
Crash involving tractor trailer closes Route 309 in South Whitehall
Pennsylvania county has calculated DUIs wrongly
Unsettled weather continues into first-half of weekend