Pope's Resignation Shocks Local Church Leaders
Even his closest associates are expressing shock at today's announcement by Pope Benedict that he's resigning at the end of the month.
Benedict, who is 85, cites age and declining health, but the Vatican says no specific medical condition prompted his decision.
The College of Cardinals is expected to act quickly to find a new leader for the Church in March.
The news shocked the world including local Church leaders here in Rapid City, “This is an usual moment in history of the Church, [that] the Holy Father would resign his position, so I would be confident in saying that most Catholics in this Diocese are very surprised, if not shocked by […] this new development,” says Bishop Robert D. Gruss of the Rapid City Diocese.
He was the oldest pope in 300 years when he was elected, now Benedict is the first to step down in 600 years.
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