Houston Catholics attend first Sunday mass without a pope

Pope Benedict XVI resigned as pope on Feb. 28

HOUSTON - It was a typical Sunday morning as Catholics attended mass, but as parishioners made their way to services at the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in downtown Houston, many admitted the day felt different.

Pope Benedict XVI resigned as pope on Feb. 28.

"It must have taken a lot of prayer for him to come to that conclusion," said a parishioner. "I hope he will be happy."

Benedict stunned the world and the faithful when he announced on Feb. 11 that he would resign, citing his age and frail health.

Related: Houston Catholics react to pope's resignation

Some parishioners said they understand.

"He's doing what God asked him to do," said parishioner Angela Sinegual.

"We all get to a point sometimes we have to make hard decisions," said parishioner Andrea Scott. "We love him and he did what we feel is right."

All cardinals worldwide will meet at the Vatican for a conclave to elect Benedict's successor.

The new pope will inherit corruption scandals and accounts of clergy sex abuse, reports Local 2's Courtney Zavala.

Many say they have confidence in their church to find the next leader.

"We just have faith in our church and the cardinals will do the right thing," said Andrea Scott. "We're just waiting to see who the new pope will be," said Andrea Scott.

"The cardinals will be God driven to make the right choice and get the proper person for the position," said parishioner Ron Johnson.

The date for the conclave hasn't been set, but when it begins, the cardinals will be entirely disconnected from the rest of the world: No television, no phones, no Internet, no exceptions.

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