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Feb 27, 2013 7:04 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Tucsonans wait for selection of next pope

TUCSON - Pope Benedict XVI will step down Thursday marking the end of his papacy.

Catholics celebrating mass at St. Augustine's Cathedral Wednesday said the departure would be a bittersweet moment for the church.

"Well it's kind of sad but in the same respect I think he made a good choice that he can't handle all the stuff," said Armando Gill, a Catholic who traveled to Rome four years ago.

Bertha Esparza, a volunteer at the cathedral, said she thought age might play a factor in selecting a new pope, "Young. Younger I would say like I said it's such a stress heavy, heavy on the shoulder, job."

Father Robert Kose said serving as Pope means devout faith and limited privacy, "of course a very spiritual person to give that spiritual leadership that the church is looking for in so many different areas these days."

Some wonder if the conclave might select an American for the papacy, Father Kose said anything is possible, "The Holy Spirit works in many different ways. We leave that up to the Lord and to his spirit that he will guide the cardinals that will be meeting in a couple weeks and that they will choose the best person with the leadership skills that we need for the church today."

It's anticipated that the next Pope will be selected before Easter.

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