Parishioners shocked to hear Pope Benedict XVI's news - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parishioners shocked to hear Pope Benedict XVI's news

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Memphis parishioners were shocked and saddened when they heard the news that Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.

During noon mass at St. Louis Catholic Church in East Memphis, prayers were offered to the leader of the church.

The 85-year-old pontiff announced his resignation as head of the church effective February 28.

Pope Benedict XVI is the first Pope to resign in 600 years.

"I think it shows tremendous humility for him to step down and I know that he loves our church and he wants to do what's best for our church," said church member Kim Sevier.

Many attending Monday mass not only prayed for the pope, but also the College of Cardinals.

They will be responsible for naming Pope Benedict's successor.

"We're grateful for him and the next one will be equally if not even better, which is hard to believe," added church member Erin Archer.

Pope Benedict announced Monday the duties of being the pope require both strength of mind and body.

He says his strengths are no longer suited for performing the job adequately.

"The demands on a Pope in this day and age are huge for travel, for media, and it was a huge act of humility for him to step down," Sevier continued.

When elected in 2005, Benedict was the oldest Pope chosen in nearly 300 years.

Parishioners in Memphis and the Mid-South say it is now up to the Holy Spirit to anoint their next leader.

The process of selecting the next Pope will begin in March.

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