Worshipers weigh Ouellet's papal prospects
ST-MATHIEU-DE-HARRICANA, Que. - Worshipers from the hometown parish of a presumed Canadian front-runner for the papacy are offering prayers and predictions for one of their own.
Following today's mass, parishioners at a church in northwestern Quebec discussed the possibility of Marc Cardinal Ouellet inheriting St. Peter's throne.
Leo Paul Larouche says he believes there's a good chance Ouellet will become pope.
Larouche grew up with Ouellet in the tiny village of La Motte and says locals would be honoured to see him succeed recently retired pope Benedict XVI.
Ouellet is considered among the top contenders to replace Benedict. He is head of the powerful Congregation for Bishops, which vets bishop nominations worldwide.
During today's ceremony, worshipers were asked to pray for the cardinals tasked with choosing the next pope — but there was no reference to Ouellet.
It was the first mass since Benedict stepped down for the parish that ordained Ouellet.
Parishioner Raymond Desrosiers says he believes Ouellet would boost interest in the Roman Catholic Church in North America.
Desrosiers says he's been praying a lot for Ouellet to be chosen as the next pope.
Cardinals from around the globe have travelled to Rome for meetings ahead of the election of a new pontiff.
The conclave won't be set until all cardinals have arrived, meaning a definitive date may not come Monday.