Pope Benedict resigning: Stuart Catholics weigh in on where new pope might come from

STUART, Fla. - The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is being called one of the most dramatic moments in recent Vatican history.

Joan Rabuse is one of dozens who volunteer to feed the hungry at the St. Joseph Catholic Church soup kitchen. She said she's pulling for a pope to come from our part of the globe.

"I'm looking for a new pope with a conservative measure," said Rabuse. "We should really look forward to coming from the Americas for a pope. We can go with the cardinals that are here. "

Walter Rohan, the leader of the soup kitchen, said he's hoping for pope with a blend of old-fashioned values, but with a fresh twist.

"I hope he's a bit younger than 80 or 90," Rohan said. "We could use a modern man who is accomplished with the new technology. "

Billy Briggs, a 21-year-old Catholic who converted to the faith, said Pope Benedict is leaving big shoes to fill.

"He's my first pope," Briggs said, with a laugh. "It's very sad, but at the same time, it's very humble of him to give up his position because of his health."

Briggs said it would be nice to see an American pope, although people were surprised at the current papal leader's nationality.

"Pope Benedict is German," said Briggs. "So when he got elected, people were like, oh my goodness, he's not Italian. But I will be happy with any pope the Cardinals choose."

Pope Benedict will leave his post at the end of this month, on February 28. There could be a new pope chosen by this Easter.

As the Roman Catholic world wonders who will be Benedict's successor, local Catholics say they will be watching the selection process, and they are curious to see which country from which the new pope will hail.

"We need men from all over the world," said Rabuse. "They can bring their traditions in. "


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