Local Catholics respond to pope's resignation
MIAMI (WSVN) -- By the time the Miami church bells rang Monday morning, parishioners were learning what had already come out of the Vatican: Pope Benedict the 16th is quitting.
Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski said, "He feels that he doesn't have the energy to continue." Wenski echoed what the 85-year-old pontiff said in a statement, that his age and declining strength were forcing him to call it a career at the end of February.
Reporter: "He was an elderly man when he took the job, why the sudden decision?"
Wenski replied, "It's sudden for us because he received the news suddenly, but I presume he has been praying about this for several months." The archbishop added that the pope had health restrictions with respect to his demanding travel-heavy schedule and acknowledged that popes do step down from time to time, even though this resignation is the first for a pope since the year 1415.
Reporter: "What should South Floridians or Miamians take away from this, if anything?"
Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski replied, "I think today is a time for us to be grateful for the leadership of Benedict the 16th for these past several years."
Parishioner Lillian Pierce said, "We are part of the church, and we are the church, so please pray for him."
Parishioner Claude LaRoche said, "All of the sudden now we gotta stop and break everything and start all over again."
The starting-over officially starts in 18 days. The pope will officially step down on Feb. 28.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)