GEORGETOWN, Del.- Pope Benedict XVI's announcement Monday that he will resign at the end of the month was a shocker to Catholics both around the world and here on Delmarva.
"Overall I'm shocked. And you pray for the man. You don't know what's going on in his life that would make him make that decision," said Jim Clark of Millsboro.
It is the first time in about 600 years that a Pope has voluntarily left his position. The 85-year-old Benedict had led the Catholic Church since 2005. And while the tenure of Benedict only last a few years, Fran Newlands of Milton was impressed with what he was able to accomplish.
"I think he advanced us to the next stage. He's on Twitter. He has gotten a lot of young people back and involved in the church and that's a good thing," said Newlands.
Benedict will be leaving his post during Lent. One the secret conclave starts, the College of Cardinals will have just a few weeks before Easter to elect a new Pope. As the church readies to choose its new leader, many Catholics already have opinions about what qualities the next Pope should have.
"It is like whenever you have a new boss, the new boss tries to imprint his philosophy, and I hope that his philosophy will be the same as Benedict 16 and John Paul the Second and that is for the good of the church," said Deacon Jose Rodriguez-Trejo of the St. Michael's the Archangel Parish.
"I just hope somebody that's strong. Plus, the controversies the church has gone through, he will lead us out of all that," said Clark.
It is now in the hands of the College of Cardinals to pick the next leader of the Catholic Church.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:37:33 GMT
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