Savannah Priest Has Met Pope Benedict XVI

Many Catholics might not know a lot about the new Pope, but one person in Savannah has met him several times over the last few years.

Outside the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, papal flags announce the election of Pope Benedict the 16th: a man Monsignor William O'Neill has met several times.

Most recently, they worked together about a year ago.

"Palm Sunday," explains O'Neill, "I was communion minister at the papal mass in St. Peter's Square, and I met the cardinal again a few times."

Some Catholics have said the new Pope is too old to be considered anything but an interim pontiff, but O'Neill says people need to give him a chance.

"I know this man has a razor sharp mind," he says. "He's very healthy looking at age of 78, he's probably healthier than Pope John Paul was at 78."

The College of Cardinals elected Pope Benedict the 16th on the second day of the conclave, sending the white smoke billowing out of the Sistine Chapel's chimney.

Some Catholics say they would have liked to see a pope come from a country outside of Europe.

"I was kind of hoping they would have an Asian or Latin American or even an African Pope, just for diversity," says Jack Scholan.

But again, Monsignor O'Neill says give him a chance: "We have to be open to the Holy Spirit. The cardinals were led by the spirit in making this decision, so we have to trust the Holy Spirit and he'll be his own man."

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite,