As the world awaited the billow of white in Rome, they looked to the future; but none can overlook the church's history, marred by sex abuse.
"I don't think we can ever put this behind us," said Monsignor Henry Kriegel, Pastor at St. Patrick Church. "We can never forget the harm that was done to innocent children."
Monsignor Kriegel acknowledged the difficult legacy left not only for the new pope, but for rising seminarians as well.
"I feel sorry for the young men," he said, citing that there are half as many seminarians now than when he was ordained. He prays that they will find strong leadership in the new Pope.
The Support Network of those Abused by Priests, or S.N.A.P., has been reaching out to victims for over 20 years.
Leaders of that organization note key changes they want to see with the new leadership.
"Since the Pope resigned...even more victims are coming forward," said SNAP Midwest Associate Director Judy Jones. "We hope the new Pope will take action immediately," she said, noting that Pope Benedict gave many apologies, but made no significant moves.
Jones said it's essential that the Pope enacts new regulations, which Cardinals and Bishops must follow when reporting sex abuse cases.
Monsignor Kriegel echoes that wish.
"I think the new Pope has to be much stronger... there can be no blinking with something this horrible."
SNAP issued a list of the top 12 Papal contenders who had questionable actions or statements regarding sex abuse; luckily, Pope Francis was not on that list.