LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — For the first time in 600 years there is no Pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned Thursday saying his strength was failing due to his age.
Father Michael Farano of St. Pius X Catholic Church calls the day bittersweet for people in the Capital Region. He says though there may not be a Pope; it won't change the celebration of God in his church.
Inside St. Pius X the choir prepares for holy week, and Farano says though there's no longer a Pope his parish is carrying on as normal.
“We're going to continue to baptize babies, we're going marry couples, and we're going to bury the dead. We're going to anoint the children, none of that changes whether we have a Pope or we don't have a Pope right now,” said Farano.
Farano says he was surprised when the Pope announced he would be retiring but admires him for doing what he believes is right for the Catholic Church.
“I feel sad that he's gone, but I also feel good, I feel good that he had the courage to lay down the ministry when he said ‘I can't do it anymore, I'm not the person for it, I understand the challenges and I can't do it anymore. God is calling me to something else.'”
He says he's learned many lessons from the Pope — lessons of love, hope and charity, but most importantly he says he's learned the importance of teaching the faith.
“He says really something interesting that always stuck with me. He says ‘everybody knows what the church is against, but they don't' know what the church is for and if you don't understand what the church is for, you don't really understand the church,' and I always, always remember that.
He also tells us that though this is the first time in 600 years a decision like this has been made, he says this is the time to do it, during Lent.
“Lent is a time of prayer and contemplation…and I think it's a wonderful time for the cardinals to pray and contemplate,” said Farano. “Basically, those 115 men that go in there. They know that God is with them, and they know, they can't just listen to each other, they have to listen to that voice, however it comes to them.”
Father Farano says the life of the church will go on, because the life of the church is where the people are.
A new Pope will be chosen within the next few weeks, and two possible candidates are in New York. There's Archbishop Timothy Dolan, from NYCand Cardinal Peter Turkson who preached at St. Joan of Arch parish in Menands.