Bishop Murry reacts to Pope Benedicts resignation announcement - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Bishop Murry reacts to Pope Benedicts resignation announcement

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Declaring that he lacks the strength to do his job, Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday that he will resign at the end of February.

The 85-year-old pope dropped the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators.

When he was elected in 2005, at the age of 78, he was the oldest pope chosen in nearly 300 years.

At the time, he had already been planning to retire to spend his final years writing in the "peace and quiet" of his native Bavaria.

The Vatican stresses that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision.

At a news conference on Monday in Youngstown, Bishop George Murry called the pope's decision understandable but a great loss for the church.

"I am deeply grateful to Pope Benedict for his witness of service to the church and for his example of personal holiness. I pray that he will enjoy a peaceful retirement and I ask all men and women of goodwill to pray for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as the cardinals choose a new pope," Bishop Murry said.

There aren't any clear successors to Pope Benedict at this time. But there have been calls to have a pope from Latin America since half of the world's Catholics live in that area.

A new pope is expected to be named in early March.

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