As the cardinals meet in the Vatican, there are plenty of questions surrounding the selection of the church's next leader, both on the process and the historical significance.
Father Kevin Segerblom, the pastor at Saint Anne's Catholic Church in Bristol, sat down with News 5 WCYB to explain what we will see unfold in the Vatican, and what the College of Cardinals will most likely look for in the next pope.
"We always [look at] being spiritual, because that's the most important," says Father Kevin. "The other cardinals would sense in the one they want to be pope, a truly holy man, a man of God."
Being pope is a big job. The next supreme pontiff will most likely lead the Catholic Church for the rest of his life.
Choosing emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's successor is a hefty task for the 115 cardinals as well. Father Kevin says they are constantly seeking guidance to make the right decision. "Those cardinals, the most important thing they do in preparation for the conclave and in those moments when they're away from the actual voting, is to pray," he said.
Praying for the right man to be made known. Father Kevin tells News 5 that any baptized Catholic male is eligible to be pope, but it has been thousands of years since a layman was elected. "It's most likely that within those 115 who are the cardinal electors, within their number is the one who can be elected by the pope," says Father Kevin.
While the cardinals are locked in the Sistine Chapel, it offers a chance for the younger members of the parish to see history in the making. Says Father Kevin, "I was telling the students what they are seeing, it is cool. There's a chance the 10-year-old students might not get a chance to see this again for another 20 or 30 years."
However, he pointed out this historical even is for everyone, not just Catholics. "We belong to something universal, and of course, the church is universal, and that extends beyond Catholic and non-Catholic."