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Home | About The Process | A Look Back At Pope Benedict

Parishioners At One Queens Church Excited As Conclave Begins

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Along with the rest of the world, Catholics in the city, including at one Astoria church, are closely watching the conclave as they wait to see who become their new leader. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.

Parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria had a hard time concentrating during Tuesday morning mass.

"I cannot wait until I get home today," said parishioner Jane Ann McGettrick.

Some members of the parish are just as excited about the history being made in Rome as they are about who will become their new spiritual leader.

"We've never had a pope to retire, so this has opened up a whole new field of interest," McGettrick said.

Many in the parish called themselves conservative Catholics. While they agreed that the new pope will need to do more to address the scandals in the church, they said that Catholics shouldn't expect the new pope to make too many changes too quickly.

"You have to tread very easily, like treading on water," said parishioner Marianna DiVittorio. "It's a big weight on the pope."

Monsignor Sean Ogle said one of those changes will not be ordaining women into the priesthood.

"That's just not the intention of the Lord," Ogle said. "If he didn't ordain his mother, he's not going to ordain, the church isn't going to ordain women now."

Other parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel hoped that the new pope gets young Catholics excited about religion, not only to stay with the church, but to get more involved with the church.

"A lot of children, they lost a lot of interest," said parishioner Nicoletta Del Greco. "We want back all those things for the new generation."

While the field seems to be wide open, Cardinal Timothy Dolan's name was mentioned the most at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

"Cardinal Dolan is a gentleman who has a lot of benevolence towards the poor," said parishioner Efrank Montalvo. "He is very charismatic, very caring vicar of the Catholic faith."

Monsignor Ogle wouldn't speculate on who the cardinals will choose, but he said the church can't go wrong with this field of candidates.

"I think all of them are bright men," he said. "They're men of selflessness who are seeking the best welfare of the church."

Members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel have as much faith in the process of choosing a new leader as they do in the church itself. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP