Memphis monsignor excited for new Pope to be chosen - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis monsignor excited for new Pope to be chosen

(WMC-TV) - He is no longer the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. Now known as Pope Emeritus, Benedict the 16th has officially resigned.

One of the cardinals described Benedict as frail, as he left the public world stage as the Pope. He said he will not be seen and will spend his final days in prayer.

Thursday afternoon, the Swiss guards walked away, signaling that the retirement is official. Cardinals will begin their first preliminary meetings on Monday to set a timeline for the conclave that will decide the next Pope.

As now Pope Emeritus Benedict the 16th told the Vatican goodbye, Memphis Monsignor Peter Buchignani was filled with emotion.

"Sad anticipation, I was very impressed," said Mon. Peter Buchignani, Vicar General, Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

Monsignor Buchignani says the coming days will be exciting as the College of Cardinals gathers to elect a new head of the church.

"Within a couple of days, all of the sudden, the focus will start to shift to excitement," he said.

The Cardinals will soon meet in conclave, which means total seclusion.

They will be locked behind closed doors until they reach a two-thirds vote on a new Pope.

Traditionally, the cardinals cast ballots, then burn them.

When the white smoke rises from the Sistine Chapel, that means a new Pope has been elected.

"Once the conclave starts, my best guess is that we will have a Pope within two to three days of voting," said Buchignani.

The Monsignor says the new Pope will more than likely come from Africa, Latin America, or Asia and not from the United States.

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