Locals react to impact the new pope will have - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Locals react to impact the new pope will have

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS -

We are thousands of miles away from the conclave...but people in southern West Virginia say it's important to them who becomes the next Pope.

Father Chapin Engler of St. Charles Catholic Church in White Sulphur Springs said, "It affords me a lot of hope that we are going to have a new pope that will take us in a direction to evangelize the church and not just our own church but around the world."

He said right now is an exciting time to be a catholic because of the unknowns that lie ahead.

He said, "The leadership really determines which direction the boat is going to go. He is our captain so it is going to affect us tremendously and I am really excited."

The selection of the new pope means a lot to people who practice the Catholic religion, but people who are not Catholic also have opinions about it.

Bruce Hemthorn, a Christian, said, "The Vatican itself of course is an independent sovereign state and the pope has lots of influence politically as well as in a religious sense in Europe and really around the world."

And non-Catholics said the decision still has an impact on their lives.

Hemthorn said, "They do good work and they try to create peace and harmony among nations so the pope maybe not directly affects me but indirectly certainly."