Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 6, 2011. The Pontiff lamented the deaths and humanitarian crisis caused by the fighting in Libya between forces loyal to longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi and those demanding his ouster. "My heartfelt thoughts go out to Libya, where recent clashes have caused many deaths and a growing humanitarian crisis," Benedict said in his first public comments on the fighting in the north African country. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning he will be resigning Feb. 28 due to deteriorating health.
During a meeting of the Vatican cardinals, the 85-year-old pope announced his decision.
Father Rick Krofchek, of St. Joseph’s Church, Moose Jaw, said he was both shocked and surprised by the morning announcement.
“Actually it was a real shock. It was certainly unexpected as far as I was concerned. I had no kind of foreknowledge, as I don’t think very many people did.”
Krofchek said he also found the news unusual being that it has been almost 600 years since a pope has stepped down or retired.
Nonetheless, he said “good on him.
“If (Pope Benedict) feels that he’s not able to the job anymore, than I am pleased to see that he is willing to step down.”
As for the possibility of Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet being the one to replace Benedict, Krofchek said he is not surprised.
He said he was aware that the cardinal was in a good position to be in the running and will be paying close attention to the outcome of the March vote.
“I have met and know (Ouellet) to be a very good and holy man, so this is kind of exciting. But we will just have to see what happens.”