President Barack Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday.
PARMA, Ohio - Parma Catholics reacted Wednesday night to the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI. The pontiff will step down at 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Cleveland time.
"We feel bad because we loved our Pope," Clara Selepena said as she stood outside St. Charles Borromeo Church. "But he did the right thing if he felt that he couldn't accomplish the things that he'd like to do."
The Pope's retirement isn't expected to have an affect on Cleveland-area Catholics. Rev. Roger Gries, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, said the transition will go smoothly.
"The one thing that Catholics will notice beginning Friday morning is that the Pope will not be mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer during mass," he said.
"They will just mention the local bishop. They won't mention the Pope at all, until the new Pope is elected. Once the new Pope is elected, the next morning he'll be mentioned in the mass."
"We just keep him in our prayers," said Louise Gillen, "and pray for the next Pope we're going to have."
Pope Francis' pared down papal wardrobe of sensible black shoes and a white cassock so thin you can see his black trousers.
New surveys commissioned by the Vatican show that the vast majority of Catholics in Germany and Switzerland reject church teaching on contraception, sexual morality, gay unions and divorce, findings remarkable both in their similarity and in the fact that they were even publicized.
Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.
A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.
Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned Feb. 28 and met with successor Pope Francis.
Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.
Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon and other area leaders react to the election of Pope Francis I.
Latin Americans are reacting with joy to news of the first pope from the hemisphere, bursting into tears and cheers.
Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.