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Austin Catholics look to future as Pope resigns

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As morning mass was ending Sunday we caught up with some St. Mary Cathedral church-goers and asked them how they felt about everything that's going on with the Catholic church...and what sort of changes they are hoping the new Pope will bring.

Paul Vega is a volunteer at St. Mary and a lifelong Catholic.

He wasn't surprised to hear that Pope Benedict XVI would be the first Pope to resign in 600 years.

"They're human just like anybody else and after a while, it takes a toll on them also and so they have to step down and let someone else do his job," Vega said.

We asked Loretta Acevedo and Steve Stein if they're hoping for a younger Pope this time.

"I think it would be good to maybe move a little more into a younger Pope. Someone who maybe grew up in the last century and is maybe a bit more modern," Acevedo said.


"Maybe an American Pope or an African Pope, that would be good," Stein said.

Like many others, Acevedo is ready for the scandal to go away.

"I mean obviously the Catholic faith needs to get a handle on the sex scandals that have been going on. You know, it can't be tolerated. They can't just keep pushing priests off to other parishes," Acevedo said.

But what if priests were allowed to get married? Would that help?

Acevedo and Stein are all for it -- and feel it would even help them better counsel married couples.

"They counsel everyone. But it just seems like if you have not been involved in that kind of situation, it's very hard for you to offer good advice," Acevedo said.

"And understand the temptations that we all face, so...they need to be married," Stein said.

But others like Nathan Harkins, don't think it's the right move.

"Just because if we let them get married and we say 'Well that's gonna reduce the sex abuse that goes on'...I don't think that's true at all, I think that these abusers are gonna abuse anyway they can," Harkins said.

"No. You're already married, you're married to Christ. You know, that's what it's all about," Vega said.

Pope Benedict has one more public appearance this week on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

He's officially stepping down on Thursday.

In the meantime, no date has been set yet for the Cardinals to vote on the next Pope.

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