March 12, 2013
Students at Charlottesville Catholic School have read articles, watched videos, and made crafts all having to do with the papal selection process. For many of them, this will be the first papal election they will remember.
As the world anxiously waits for the black smoke to turn white, signifying the new Pope has been selected, students at Charlottesville Catholic School are using this as a learning opportunity.
Andrew Weber, a 7th grader at Charlottesville Catholic School, said, "The convention in Rome is trying to decide a pope and there's a bunch of Cardinals that go into the Sistine Chapel and we've just been learning about the whole process."
Anna Lewis, a 7th grader at Charlottesville Catholic School, said, "We've also learned about the white smoke and the black smoke and the secret ballot that the Cardinals do."
As the students are learning about the process one local UVa Professor of Religious Studies and History is making his prediction of how long the process will take.
Gerald Forgarty, UVa Professor of Religious Studies and History, said, "I'm predicting it will be three or four days because there is no real consensus and there are so many more problems that have come up."
Students at Charlottesville Catholic School are learning about the complex and secretive process. For many, this papal selection will be the first they remember.
Weber said, "This will be the third Pope in my life. I don't remember the election of St. Benedict so this will be the first time I get to see the election."
Christina Brooks, a 2nd grader teacher at Charlottesville Catholic School said, "More than likely, these children will grow up with this next Pope we'll be having."
The students are also learning about the candidates for pope. Many of them have and idea of whom they want to be the next leader of the Catholic Church.
Lewis said, "I think an American pope would be really cool but I also think that there's two African popes and I think that would also be really amazing."
Weber said, "They're all very terrific. So, I would have to study up a little more before I can make my decision on that."
The first graders at Charlottesville Catholic School are making pope puppets that they will parade around the school once the new pope has been chosen.
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