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Local Catholics React to Pope's Resignation

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MORGANTOWN -

Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Monday morning. He stated it was because of his deteriorating health. He is the first pope to resign in almost 600 years.

Morgantown Catholics explained they are sad to see him go but admire his courage.

"I think it just shows that his heart really cares for the 1.2 billion Catholics," said Jacob King, a Catholic and campus minister at St. John's University Parish in Morgantown. "I was talking with my friends, and I thought, if an 86 year old can make it to mass on Sunday that's an accomplishment but he runs 1.2 billion people and is an integral detail with everything. Surprised he can do what he does right now, it's pretty noble."

King also said that he thinks it was the right decision for the Pope to step down. He said the Pope needs to be healthy enough to travel for events like World Youth Day 2013 in Rio De Janeiro.

Joseph Ahern is also a Catholic from St. John's University Parish. He said the more he learned about the resignation and the Pope's ailing health, the more it made sense.

"It was a little surprising, but from my experience of Pope Benedict's decisions, they've always been incredibly thought-out and wise," said Ahern. "It was a little bit surprising, but because I trust him, it wasn't upsetting."

Both men said that prayer and unity are the most important things for them to do for the Pope and the Catholic faith.