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Catholics react to news of Pope Benedict XVI's plan to resign

7:24 PM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Millions of Catholics are reacting to Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will be resigning Feb. 28.

"I hope he gets well and we were a religion created by Jesus and we are all his followers and it's sad that this happened, but it's not going to affect in any way," said Adriana Newman, a Catholic from Fort Lauderdale vacationing in St. Augustine.

Thirty years ago, Newman came to the United States from Peru and said her faith got her through the transition and now she's seeing the Catholic Church go through it's own transition.

"Well, this is the first time it's happened in 600 years, so now I think maybe they'll be more careful selecting a little younger Pope so this doesn't happen again and their health should be in consideration," said Newman.

Her husband Steven says the change won't disrupt his faith. As an Army veteran, he says being a Catholic is what helped him through 25 years of active service.

"It's got me through a lot of terror and turmoil in my life, it's helped me through the military, my faith and stuff like that, it's even helped me through the civilian sector of the world and it brought me closer to Jesus," said Steven Newman.

The news of Pope Benedict XVI resigning due to his health has spread through the Catholic world quickly, but even though it's a shock to some, they say this may set a new precedent for future Popes.

"Some of them got to be so sick, we don't even know if they knew what they were saying or doing. Hopefully the future Pope will be more open to women becoming priests," said Bob Truesdll, a Catholic from Canada on vacation in St. Augustine.

Pope Benedict XVI took office in 2005 at 78 years old, serving only seven years in the papacy.

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