In just four days, Pope Benedict will step down from the papacy. And as the Catholic Church prepares for this major transition, Cardinal Dolan will travel to Rome to participate in the conclave. Jon Weinstein reports.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict made his final Sunday appearance in St. Peter's square before the faithful. He is set to step aside on Thursday, becoming the first pope in 600 years to resign.
"The Lord is calling me to go up the mountain to devote myself a lot more to prayer now and to meditation. But this doesn't mean abandoning the church," said the Pope.
A few hours later, Cardinal Dolan held his final mass at St Patrick’s before heading to Rome for Pope Benedict's resignation and the conclave to choose his successor.
“I'm praying a lot that I'll have the guidance to give to the Holy Spirit, to make the right decision, because this is one of the most awesome responsibilities a cardinal could ever have,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan Archdiocese of New York.
Dolan will fly to Rome on Tuesday. He reacted to Italian media reports that the pope's resignation may have stemmed from a sex scandal among Vatican officials. The reports say there was an internal investigation which was leaked.
“There's so many rumors. There's so many whispers. There's so much gossip. I would like to think we should take the Holy Father at his word. This is an extraordinary act of humility,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
On Saturday, the Vatican spoke out about the rumors calling them deplorable and a distraction from the coming conclave. As for the parishioners who packed the pews at St. Patrick's on Sunday, they seem hopeful about the future of the church no matter who is chosen as the next Pontiff, perhaps even Dolan himself.
“You gotta cheer for your home team. I would say yea he'd be the guy to go for, but I don’t know if they would go with an American or not, or they're gonna go back to an Italian or somebody else, not sure,” said the parishioner.
Pope Benedict will make his final public appearance on Wednesday. Officials are hoping to have a new pope named by Easter Sunday on March 31st.