Some Milwaukee Catholics 'shocked' by Pope Benedict's resignation

CREATED Feb 11, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Catholics across Southeastern Wisconsin are reacting to the news of Pope Benedict XVI resigning, effective February 28th.

While some students scurried on to school at Holy Family Parish in Whitefish Bay, parents reacted to the news.

Some got their news first from TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady when she talked to them.

"I'm shocked.  I am.  I really am," said one parent.

Pope Benedict is the first to resign from the role in nearly 600 years.

He says the reason involves health concerns.

"The foresight and the selflessness required to do that, not thinking about himself and and staying in power, but thinking about what's best for the Church, I think is really impressive," said Tom Kister, a parent.

On Marquette's campus, some church members prayed for the outgoing Pontiff during Monday morning's 6:15 a.m. Mass at Gesu Parish.

"It was very sad, but great that I woke up in time to go to Mass and offer it up for that," said Annie Gehrz.

Many are wondering what's next for the Catholic Church.

"An interesting time," said Patrick Murphy, a Catholic, "but it has withstood a lot of challenges before, and it will continue to prevail.  We'll get through all this."

Kister hopes for a non-European to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.

"I think it'd be neat to see a Pope from Africa or South America just to show the world (Catholics are) about inclusion and welcoming all people into our faith," said Kister.