BUFFALO -- A handful of parishioners celebrated mass Wednesday morning at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo. At the same time, a conclave of Cardinals are getting ready to meet in Rome, Italy to choose the next pope.
Monsignor James Campbell of St. Joseph said in his eight years at the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI faced a number of scandals and other problems, but he handled them well.
"He was someone who tried to deal with the difficulties of the church, internationally and within the ranks of the clergy itself," said Monsignor Campbell. "I think he did as reputable a job as anyone can do under those circumstances."
Monsignor Campbell said Pope Benedict will be remembered as a Theologian, someone who embraced the past and present of the Catholic Church.
As for the next pope, Monsignor Campbell said he hasn't given much thought to that, but says this is a unique time.
"It's the unknown, that's what we're going to be dealing with. For almost seven hundred years there was no retirement of a holy father. This will be different kinds of times and I hope they are joy filled," Monsignor Campbell said.
Church leaders said Western New York Catholics shouldn't see much of a difference during the entire process.