Pope's Resignation Surprises Westwood, Hillsdale, Washington Twp. Residents
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign, citing health and age issues.
Residents and church leaders in Westwood, Hillsdale and Washington Township expressed surprise and respect for Pope Benedict XVI after he announced his resignation Monday.
Benedict will be the first pope to resign since 1415 when he steps down February 28. Church leaders said that Benedict made the decision because of his age and growing health concerns.
"I was very surprised," Rev. John Korbelak of St. John's in Hillsdale said. "I thought he seemed to be doing alright."
Rev. Steve Cinque of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Washington Township also said he was surprised, but that he respected the decision as "an act of humility" considering the pope's age and health concerns.
"There's a certain sadness that his health is failing," Cinque said. "On the othet hand, I think it's a wonderful thing on his part to recognize that the church needs strong leadership."
Readers on Patch's Facebook page echoed the reverends' feelings. Kim Ritche described the news as a "shock." Mike Herzog wrote that it was "prudent" considering "he could no longer do the duties required of him."