Michiana reacts to Pope Benedict's resignation - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana reacts to Pope Benedict's resignation

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People in Michiana were surprised to hear Pope Benedict's plans to resign.

"I guess I didn't really know the Pope could resign. It's a little surprising, but I guess there's not a job you can't walk away from," says Brian Kaltencker.

"It's hard to find a good Pope and this guy was pretty good at running the Catholic Church from what I remember," says Evan Ammeson.

"Pope Benedict was a very conservative Pope and hopefully we can move forward and find a more progressive Pope to help the Catholic Church move forward into the 21st century," says Konrad Pawlak.

It's a decision Reverend Leonard Chrobot at St. Patrick Church says he can understand. "I too am retiring in June. It's an exhausting job meeting with people, dealing with people's problems."

While he was shocked, he's glad the Pope is paying attention to his health. "At that age, I've always been amazed that he was able to do what he did the last six or seven years."

St. Mary's College Religious Studies Professor Joseph Incandela says since this type of resignation is so uncommon, the Code of Cannon Law doesn't offer much guidance on what to do next. "One sentence in the whole thing and the only thing it says is that if a pope resigns he has to make sure he does it freely."

Which he believes is the case for Pope Benedict, but he says it's too early to determine the impact of this decision. "If the next person is someone who's pretty much like Pope Benedict then maybe it means not a whole lot."

But he says a pope with a different outlook or theology could mean big changes. "If something like that happens then this is a very pivotal moment in the church's history."

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