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Mineola Residents React to Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation

Pontiff to step down Feb. 28 for health reasons; Conclave to follow in Rome.

Mineola residents were stunned along with the rest of world by the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would step down at the end of February.

The announcement came in Rome from the ailing pontiff, who has been in deteriorating health, and indicated he is too sick to carry on his duties.

It will be the first time in 600 years that a sitting Pope has abdicated the Throne of St. Peter.

“For me it sounds very weird,” Marta Bertoni wrote on the Mineola Patch Facebook page, “but I pray that his decision was inspired by God and nothing else.”

Kristine Afonso added that “(the Cardinals) knew when they elected/voted him in it would be a short period of time. I think they thought because of his age not from resignation. I love the mourning period they will have.”

Calls to Corpus Christi Church in Mineola requesting comment were not returned.

John Paul II reigned from 1978 until his death in 2005 and is on the path to Sainthood. Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has reigned since April, 2005.

Benedict’s resignation sets the stage for the conclave, a secret meeting in Rome of all church Cardinals under 80 years old to decide his successor.

The word “conclave” means, literally, “with a key.” Symbolically, the College of Cardinals can not leave the conclave without deciding on a new leader of the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics.

To learn more about Pope Benedict’s papacy see this article from Reuters.

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