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Mar 5, 2013 8:00 PM by Andy Koen

Bishop urges prayer during transition

COLORADO SPRINGS - At the noon daily mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral, parishioners come to quietly pray and worship in a custom that has spanned centuries and continents.

As church leaders in Rome begin the process of electing a new Pope, Bishop Michael Sheridan says 150,000 or so members of the diocese in the Pikes Peak region should view this is as a time of spiritual transition as much as a physical one.

"Now is the time to pray, and I don't mean that in a desperate sense but we should be praying for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for his presence among the electors that we receive as we always have, at least that we have in my life time, the kind of Pope that we need."

Sheridan believes whomever is elected as the successor to Saint Peter, they will very likely continue the reforms of Popes before him, especially when it comes to changing in the Roman Curia. However, he doesn't expect there to be immediate or radical changes.

"I suspect we're not quickly going to notice any kind of change," Sheridan said. "We're talking about a 2,000 year old institution and in many ways it is what it is and rightly so."

He says the new Pope could likely come from outside of Europe and will need to be someone with the physical and spiritual strength to handle the job.

"We can't look at it as strictly a human endeavor. God's hand is in this, and thank God for that."

Most of the 115 Cardinal electors who will be part of choosing the new Pope have already arrived in Rome for the next conclave. All are expected to be at the Vatican by Wednesday. NBC News reports the conclave could begin as soon as next Monday.

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