Reaction to Pope Benedict's resignation - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Reaction to Pope Benedict's resignation

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28.

Benedict is the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages.

"At first I wasn't sure it was accurate or true, I needed to kind of absorb it," said Bishop John Quinn of the Diocese of Winona.

A pope has not resigned in some 600 years, but early Monday morning, history was made.

"I always put on the news to see what's happening in the world and the story I immediately came across was that the holy father announced his resignation," Quinn said.

Pope Benedict cited his decline in strength and physical health as the reasons for his resignation, a move that shocked the world.

"What it means as Catholics and for everyone, we're living through history that hasn't happened in 600 years so I think we have just lots of questions, but what an exciting time we're living through," Quinn said.

The pope will work until Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. A successor will probably be elected by Easter, according to Vatican sources.

"This will be a time for all of us, a time for prayer, a time for anticipation, but also great hope as we see the Holy Spirit selecting through our College of Cardinals, the successor to Pope Benedict," Quinn said.

That will likely happen in March, as Pope Benedict XVI will officially resign on Feb. 28.

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