Published: March 04. 2013 4:00AM PST
Filipino Catholics attend a Mass on Sunday at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila.
Faithful attending Sunday Mass on five continents for the first time since Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement had different ideas about who should next lead the Roman Catholic Church, with people suggesting everything from a Latin American pope to one more like the conservative, Polish-born John Paul II. What most agreed on, however, was that the church is in dire need of a comeback.
Clergy sex abuse scandals and falling numbers of faithful have taken their toll on the church, and many parishioners said the next pope should be open about the problems rather than ignore them.
Cardinals from around the world have descended on Rome to discuss some of these problems ahead of the conclave to elect Benedict XVI’s successor as pope.
The first preconclave meeting is scheduled for this morning, headed by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. He has said the date for the start of the conclave won’t be set until all the cardinals are in Rome.
— The Associated Press
Aaron Favila / The Associated Press