Catholic high school students, staff to closely watch conclave live feed
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Now that the 115 cardinals are in the process of electing a new pope, the Internet will make it possible for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to watch and wait for the announcement.
Students and staff at Tucson's Salpointe Catholic High School will monitor the live feeds from the Vatican, anxiously waiting news of who will become the next pope.
Theology department chair Lisa Astrouski told 9 On Your Side it's an exciting time to teach history and tradition as it happens.
For the students, it is the second time in their lives when the cardinals gathered to elect a pope.
"They experienced this eight years ago when Benedict became pope," Astrouski said. "But they don't remember because most of them were young, so they have lots of questions about what's going to happen with the conclave."
This time around, Astrouski says advancements in technology allow students to watch history unfold in real time.
"Back then we only had televisions to use, now we have the Internet that's going to provide us more instant notification of all the things that are going on," she said.
And once the cardinals pick the new pope, Astrouski says they will break from class.
"We'll stop and make announcements and hopefully everyone in the school will then turn on overheads and we'll be watching it," she said.
But living in this instant age of the Internet is also why Catholics sometimes question the church.
"The Internet, all that makes our world move very quickly," Astrouski said. "And the church takes it's time in the decisions that it makes and I think a lot of people -- even for older folks -- that can be frustrating that we move as an institution more slowly and cautiously."
9 On Your Side asked Astrouski what she thinks the next pope will need to do to connect with younger generations of Catholics.
"There's lots of possibilities, whether we get a conservative pope that comes in or one that leans more towards the traditional kinds of things," she said. "Or maybe a more liberal pope. It remains to be seen what the church as an institution is looking for."