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Local Readers Respond to Pope Benedict Resignation

Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch readers were asked via Facebook their reactions and comments regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, effective Feb. 28

Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch readers were asked Monday via Facebook for their reactions and comments on the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, effective Feb. 28.

Everyone from atheists and agnostics to Protestant supports and Catholic stalwarts responded to the post.

Reader Patrick Sullivan said, "As an atheist my first reaction was 'oh.' Upon second thought, my reaction was 'meh.'"

Patrick Byrnes wrote that the resignation might have something to do "with his being the former head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which in addition to bringing the world the Inquisition, was responsible for the handling of the worldwide pedophilia epidemic."

Byrnes also wondered if Benedict would lose the diplomatic immunity afforded to him through the statehood status of the Vatican.

Christina Hoffman responded that she wasn't a Catholic, but she sees many people having reactions that a pope should stay as such until his death.

Stephanie Spear saw respect in Benedict's announcement.

"(I'm) glad someone can admit they are incapable of doing a job and willingly giving up the position. I can respect that," Spear wrote.

"I think it better that he give it up if he realizes that his health, age (or whatever his reason) is impacting his ability to perform his duties, even if it's not the popular opinion for him to do so," wrote Hoffman.

Kathy Francis found it to be a surprise.

"The pontiff made it clear in the past he would step down if he became too infirm to do the job," she wrote. "He's 86 and lacks the strength to fulfill his duties. He has the right and obligation to resign."

Sue Wilks said the news is "sad."

"Prior popes served until death, despite decreased physical health. I wonder if his mental health is rapidly declining and that is the real issue?" wrote Wilks.

A lot of readers speculated there is more to the resignation, referencing a possible scandal.

Reader John Scioli believes there could be a scandal "since he is the first pope in 600 years to do this."

"Knowing how secretive the Catholic Church is, I suspect there's more to this than people are letting on. Or perhaps he is becoming a Lutheran," Scioli said.

Other readers couldn't care less about the resignation.

"Maybe the next one will make Catholicism relevant. Yawn," wrote reader Michael Cullen.

What do you think of the announcement of the Pope's resignation?

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