East Meadow Roman Catholics were stunned along with the rest of world by the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would step down at the end of February. But many said that they respect his decision to do so.
The announcement came in Rome from the ailing pontiff, who has been in deteriorating health, and indicated he is too sick to carry on his duties.
"I am speechless," Mary-Ellen Fosso said. "He was very forward thinking and he had a tough act to follow. If he is doing this there had to be some thought behind it, he feels he can't do it."
"I am very surprised because I have never seen a Pope step down," Brian Lee said. "With him being sick it is better off to step down and have someone else come in and who can do the job.
"I wish he could stay because I like him, but I am happy with his decision" Maria Validzic said. "I give him credit that he realizes that he can't do it anymore."
Benedict's resignation sets the stage for the conclave, a secret meeting in Rome of all church Cardinals under 80-years-old to decide his successor.
Joanna Castellano Festa said that the Pope took a brave step.
"I think that anyone who can no longer fulfill the duty their job requires should step down," she wrote on East Meadow Patch's Facebook page. "A lot of people could learn from this guy."
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