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Local reaction to Pope Benedict XVI's resignation

Posted at: 02/11/2013 12:59 PM
Updated at: 02/11/2013 1:25 PM
By: Nikki Rudd

Shock and surprise are the responses News10NBC heard Monday as news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation became public.

No one seemed to see this coming but a Gates man who saw Pope Benedict up close and personal this past May told News10NBC the pope seemed to be getting weak.

Robert Capellazzi heard the news while at mass and said there was a collective gasp among parishioners. He said, “I thought the pope leaves when he dies so this was a shock, but I mean if his health is not good, it's best then I guess.”

This news leaves Rochester in limbo. Currently, the Syracuse bishop, Robert Cunningham, is overseeing the Rochester Diocese as an apostolic administrator after Bishop Matthew Clark retired.

Appointing a new bishop requires the approval of the pope so that will most likely slow down the process of naming a new bishop.

We spoke with Father Kevin McKenna the pastor at Sacred Heart Cathedral about what this all means for Rochester. He said, “We don't have a bishop, we have an administrator. We don't have a diocesan bishop, we're not able to make any major moves to the Diocese. The same will be true for the church.”

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan was on The Today Show Monday morning. A lot of people would love to see an American pope but Father McKenna and even Cardinal Dolan say although it's possible, it's not probable.

Bishop Cunningham issued a statement Monday saying, “I join with those around the world in being surprised by Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement of his resignation.  His decision is clearly one of great courage and one of deep love for the Church.  He has publicly recognized that he no longer has the strength to carry out the duties of his papacy which is a further sign of his great humility. Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered as a great theologian, a consummate teacher and a warm, caring spiritual leader.  The Universal Church is grateful for his eight years as its Holy Father.  May God grant him the peace he so richly deserves. We will keep the College of Cardinals in our prayers as they choose a successor who will continue to strengthen the Church while meeting the challenges of today."