In Manila, Catholics pray for smooth succession

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Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013 12:00 am

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Filipinos in Asia's largest predominantly Roman Catholic nation attended Mass on Sunday with their church having no pope due to Benedict XVI's resignation - the first in 600 years - and prayed for the smooth rise of a successor to lead an embattled institution.

Benedict stunned the world when he announced Feb. 11 that he would resign, citing his age and frail health. His resignation, which took effect Thursday, ushered in a period known as "sede vacante," or "vacant see" - the transition period between papacies when a few Vatican officials take charge of running the church.

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