YAKIMA, Wash.-- As the cardinals convene for the conclave Catholics around the world are watching, including our local diocese.
A member of the Catholic Diocese of Yakima tells us they are eagerly waiting to see who is elected pope.
The diocese is responsible for overseeing all Catholic churches in our area, from the Yakima Valley down to part of the Columbia Basin.
They expect the conclave to take a little longer this year.
Monsignor John Ecker says in most conclaves you never really know who will be elected, but this year that's especially true.
"There's really no frontrunners, not this year, and there's an old saying that if you go in as a Pope, you come out as a Cardinal of the Conclave. You never know," said Ecker
The diocese had something of a special connection to the previous pope.
Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson was among the first new bishops appointed by Pope Benedict.
Ecker says they are praying for Benedict's successor.
He hopes the next pope is a strong leader that can reform what needs reforming, and fix what needs fixing.