People of all faiths from around the world watched Tuesday as the process of selecting a new pope began at the Vatican. In Harrisburg, a special mass was conducted.
At about the same time the cardinals entered the Sistine Chapel to begin their deliberations, the faithful gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Harrisburg. There, Bishop Joseph McFadden offered a mass for the election of a pope.
The bishop of Harrisburg said the church now enters a period of prayer, a period of quiet, a period of reflection. He asked the whole Catholic Church throughout the world and other faiths and beliefs to pray that the cardinals will choose the man best able to lead in the 21st century.
"The letter to the Hebrews says the Holy Father is being chosen among men. So he is not superman,” stated Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg. “He's the one who brings the message. And so it is important for us to understand that yes the man will be chosen. He's not going to right all the evils of the world. Jesus Christ does that. This man will proclaim the gospel."
Bishop McFadden says selection of a pope is the work of the whole church. He suggests that while it is the work of the cardinals, it is more importantly the intercessions of the faithful to God that he will provide a leader that will effectively be able to continue the ministry of Jesus.
The bishop says this is an exciting time for members of the diocese. He expects the process will only last two or three days. It won't take long, but he says the cardinals need time for prayer and reflection.