Detroiters are reacting to the sudden but anticipated resignation of Pope Benedict XVI this morning. The Pope made a decision to vacate his thrown sighting an inability to muster the physical strength to carry out duties and illness as to the reasons.
In recent meetings the Pope shared with those close that keeping the pace with the demanding duties as primary leader to the Roman Catholic faith proved too much to handle.
When told about the sudden announcement Joy Siedlik of Livonia said, “No way!” The stunned Catholic follower went on to say, “You just shocked me, I hope we find another pope as spiritual as he has been.”
An equally stunned parishioner from Detroit said, “This is amazing, I mean what are we suppose to do I trust in God but suddenly I feel a little lost for words.”
The 85-year-old pontiff’s abandonment of the thrown resurfaced old memories of the massive mourning after the death of Pope John Paul back in 2005, yet many are sympathetic to the demands on a person many see as a fleshly representation of God.
“I know the father’s job is not like other jobs but I respect him loving his position so much that he would leave a calling that God gave him because he just can’t do it anymore, it shows his love for us,” says Gloria of Detroit.
According to a publication from the Vatican, the Pope understood the ramifications that would follow behind such an explosive decision to leave a ‘God ordained’ mission. “I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter.”
“Hearing the Holy Father speak in his own words, his own sense of declining health was very poignant to me,” said Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. The Archbishop goes on to say, “They must have been ready to fall off their chairs,” responding to the reaction of those present at the Pope’s announcement.
A visibly angered follower just couldn’t hold back emotions surrounding the shocking news, “we all grow tired of our calling which is why we call on the strength of the Lord for help but leaving is just not enough in my opinion, what happens if we all got tired and quit?”
The Pope, born Joseph Ratzinger is the 265th pope and was the first German pontiff in more than a thousand years and the first in nearly 600 years to yield the post.
The Pope will officially step down on February 28, 2013. The conclave of cardinals will meet in the next 15 to 20 days to select a suitable replacement.
Cardinals Edmund Szoka, 85, and Cardinal Adam Maida, 82, are both previous leaders of the Detroit Archdiocese are not eligible to vote in the next conclave because both are over 80.
It’s rumored that the next priest could come from Latin America, Asia, North America or Africa.