Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:57 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:57:23 GMT
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Members of Saint Teresa's Catholic Church in Albany were excited to hear about the election of the new pope.
They have mixed opinions on whether he should bring changes to the Catholic Church or be a more conservative leader.
After the news came of Pope Francis being elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church Wednesday, folks at St. Teresa's in Albany said a prayer for their new leader.
"You've made him your representative. A spiritual father to your people on Earth," prayed Pastor Jay Dallas.
Pope Francis is the first pope ever from the Americas, so does this mean change in the religion?
Some St. Teresa members don't mind it.
"I once heard a priest say that you stir a big ship slowly and I don't want to see any changes to begin with, but I definitely think there's some changes that need to be made," said Angel Bradford.
While others favor the conservative views and don't like the idea of change.
"I'm happy with the way things are but sometimes change has to happen for good things," said Ada Davis.
Pope Francis, Like Benedict XVI, is known to have conservative views and will likely maintain many of the same views as his predecessor on political and social issues such as homosexuality, abortion and human rights issues.
When we asked two women their thoughts of women playing a larger role in the religion, they were split.
"Maybe not in the priesthood, but certainly there are other avenues that could be opened for women," said Bradford.
"Nope, I think women are where they're supposed to be," said Davis
For now, they'll pray for the new pope and wish him well.
"We know from this day forward he will be praying and laboring for us until the day he dies so we pray for him," said Dallas.
Optimism for their new leader is in the air.
At 76, Francis is two years younger than Benedict XVI when he was elected pope and 18 years older than Pope John Paul the second.