Catholic high school students in Midtown were eager to hear what happens next now that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning, but also had some ideas for whoever succeeds him. NY1's Manhattan reporter Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Pope Benedict's resignation raised questions for everyone at Cathedral High School, even religion teacher Cynthia Garcia, which is understandable considering it hasn't happened in 600 years.
"I was shocked, I was really shocked. Because I didn't think a Pope could resign, that was my initial reaction," Garcia said.
In class, the students discussed their surprise.
"I was shocked. I was getting ready for school with my littler brothers and sisters, and I was like the Pope retired and my mind was blown,' said one student.
The students also expressed concern for Pope Benedict's health. Some saw him in person during his 2008 visit to the city.
"I remember him coming up on stage and speaking to everyone, he really got our attention which is a very good thing, because we're very young. And it's good that he can draw attention to us," said Anabelis Gutierez Cruz, a Cathedral High senior.
Each of the seniors who spoke with NY1 say coming to school and discussing the sudden resignation was a helpful way for them to understand this extremely rare occurrence.
"Being able to openly discuss what's going on throughout the religion, and it's important in all of our lives especially being in a Catholic school, and be able to have the answers that we seek," Amber Rose Rodriguez, a Cathedral High senior.
"Just the fact that the Pope resigned, throw out that question and you get tons of other questions and we start unraveling the whole process of how to elect a Pope," Garcia added.
The students were also very young during the last election for Pope. They discussed the conclave process and also what they hope to see in the next Pope.
"I want to see him on Twitter and other social medias, because you know having an outgoing Pope someone that relates to you more, it's like you can understand where they're coming from, you can connect to them," said Kaitlin Guerrero, a Cathedral High senior.
The students have all kinds of ideas about the next Pope. Some think he should come from Latin America or Africa, but there is only one specific person the students mentioned.
"Maybe it will be Cardinal Dolan. That would be great, that would be really nice," said Monae Bratton, a Cathedral High senior.
And now, let the speculation begin.