Philippines Catholics hope, pray for Asia's first pope
MANILA (REUTERS) - With attention turning from Europe to the "new" world, worshippers in the Philippines prayed quietly and took to social media on Tuesday in the hope their cardinal might be chosen as the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
Many Catholics in the Philippines, the largest Christian community in Asia, were shocked by Pope Benedict's resignation, including their charismatic leader, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
"Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the ministry as Bishop of Rome on February 11, 2013 came as a surprise," Cardinal Tagle said in a statement.
"The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell," he said, praising Pope Benedict's "humility, honesty, courage and sincerity".