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Church business on hold until new Pope is selected

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Cardinals from around the world continue to gather at the Vatican preparing for the conclave to select a new pope. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley spoke with retired Buffalo-area priest Monsignor William Gallagher, who says he believes a new pope will be in place by holy week.

"This is unheard of that we have a living pope who is retired and we have an empty chair they will want to fill very quickly, as quickly as they go. So I suspect by Easter, certainly we will have a new bishop of Rome," said Msgr. Gallagher.

Gallagher said without a pope, some church business will be held up, including the appointments of U.S. bishops.       

"Nothing goes on. We have center so much power in the office of pope," said Gallagher.  "In that period of no pope, no bishops can be selected.  There is all sorts of ordinary, everyday business that isn't begin taken care of."

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

The vacancy affects Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone, who was appointed by former Pope Benedict to oversee Catholics in Western New York. 

But Malone also remains the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Portland, Maine.  Former Pope Benedict did not name a new bishop for Portland before his retirement last week.