Birmingham area Catholics respond to Pope's resignation - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham area Catholics respond to Pope's resignation

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It was the news that shocked people all over the world. In an Historic move Pope Benedict XVI announced that he's resigning. He said he no longer has the strength to do the job. His resignation sparked lots of conversation in Central Alabama. 

 

"Everybody is just very surprised!" Jeanne Noto, St. Peter the Apostle Church said. "Even non Catholics know that normally the Pope doesn't resign."

Six centuries have gone by since a Pope has resigned and during a conference  at St. Peter the Apostle Church, members had a lot to say...

"If he believed he was not able to carry on the office then I think it was a very courageous decision for him to say I need to resign," Frank Savage, Birmingham Diocese Communications Director said.

"I was totally shocked," Noto said. "I had no idea he was thinking about resigning - I don't think anybody did."

Priest Mitchell Pacwa says, Pope Benedict did what he believes is best for the Church...

"He's more concerned with being Pope for the sake of service, than being Pope for the sake of legacy," Pope Mitchell Pacwa said. "He sees himself as a good priest, doing what he is asked to do and if he can't do it, then he just wants to stop."

Pope Benedict has visited the tomb of the only other Pope to step down willingly.

"He placed a pallium at Pope Celestine's tomb," Savage said. "I don't think that got a lot of press, thinking back. But that was quite significant that he did that I believe. "

Pope Benedict led the church into the 21st century, but his successor will start out in somewhat of different way. Catholic church leaders are using  new ways of sharing the Gospel - including social media.

"We realize that in order to spread the Gospel today, we have to use these means of communication in order to do it," Savage said.

 

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