PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It wasn’t long ago that Cardinal Donald Wuerl saw the Pope.

And although the Pope was walking with a cane, he seemed to be doing OK.

“He seemed not only very alert, but with a good bit of energy,” Wuerl said.

But Wuerl says of the Pope’s recognition of his physical shortcomings and his decision, “I think it’s a great sign of the great humility of this pope and his love of the church and his courage.”

As the shepherd of Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI sets the teaching agenda for believers.

“As far as whether it impacts them in their daily lives, I’m sure their local pastor means more to them than the pope in Rome,” Nicholas Cafardi with Duquesne University Law said.

  • Listen to Cafardi on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA:

Still, interest is high in who will be Benedict’s successor and Pittsburgher Wuerl virtually ignored a question whether he could make a short list of candidates, instead saying the College of Cardinals must choose a man of great energy.

“Who among this body has the qualifications, the gifts to fill that chair,” he said.

“I am a big fan of Bishop Wuerl, he was a wonderful Bishop in Pittsburgh, but he’s an American,” Cafardi said.

Cafardi is a canon law expert at Duquesne University and doubts any American will be considered.

“We are involved in a war in Afghanistan, just finishing on in Iraq, we don’t know what we’re doing in Syria and Mali, but we’re certainly active there and just by being an American he’s identified with what his country does,” he said.

A couple of Italians, a Canadian and a cardinal from Ghana are all names that have surfaced.

Locals react to the Pope’s announcement:

“There’s an old Italian saying that says those who know aren’t saying and those who are saying don’t know,” Cafardi said.

“We would hope to have a new pope by the time that Easter arrives,” Bishop David Zubik with the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese said.

  • Listen to Zubik on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA:

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