C.O. Catholics say new pope already decided

'Holy Spirit is in control,' so 'God only knows'

C.O. Catholics wait for new pope

BEND, Ore. - Noon Mass at St. Francis of Assissi Church in Bend on Tuesday started just like any other. But for Catholics at  the Bend church and around the world, it was no ordinary Tuesday.

"So many people keep asking me who I think the next pope is going to be," the Rev. James Radloff said.

Parishioners lining pews did not find the answer.

"It's the Holy Spirit who chooses the pope," Radloff said.

One woman shared what she hopes to see from Pope Benedict XVI's successor.

"Another pope who is loyal to the teachings of the church and a holy man," Kathy Sansom said.

Radloff said he believes the cardinals won't choose an American to be the next pope.

"We're such a world power that I think we're threatening to some of the developing nations," Radloff said.

Catholic or not, it's a decision that will be felt around the world.

"It's amazing how much attention they give to what the pope has to say," Radloff said.

Right now, all the attention is focused on a chimney, and what color smoke will come out -- when it's white, not black, a new pope has been selected.

"I might go quickly and turn on the TV if it looks like it's happening soon," Sansom said.

No matter how long it takes for white smoke to rise, Radloff believes the decision has already been made.

"God only knows," Radloff said.

If history repeats itself, a new pope should be chosen in the next five days. Until then, it's a waiting game Catholics around the world.

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