Pope's Resignation Makes Waves in Permian Basin 2/11/13
CBS 7 News
February 11, 2013
MIDLAND-As the pope sets the stage to step down from the helm of the Catholic Church, leaders are caught off guard right here in the Permian Basin.
Monsignor Larry J. Droll, pastor of St. Ann’s Parish, says he is impressed with the decision and the work of Pope Benedict.
"Given his advanced age and declining health, I thought it very brave of him to step down,” Droll said. “He has engaged in Twitter and used other means of social communication. I think it's a way of preaching the gospel in this current age."
The Bishop of San Angelo also released a statement. He mentioned his March 2012 visit with the pope, where he noticed a decline in the health of the Pontiff.
"I was with Pope Benedict XVI twice in the past year and a half, and I could see how difficult it was for him to carry out his universal ministry for the worldwide Church," said San Angelo Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer.
The resignation also hits home with the people who fill the pews.
"I’m sad to see him go, I always really enjoyed his writing and speeches,” said Beckie Gautreau, a Midland resident. “But I appreciate that he realizes if there's something that's going to stop him from being the best pope he can be, that he's stepping down.”
But what does it mean for St. Ann’s and local parishes around the world?
"The work of the church will continue to go on,” Droll said. “Of course there won't be anybody to make the final decisions during that time, but of course I expect that time to be brief probably."
Droll says the new pope will be decided in a closed-door conclave by the Cardinals in Vatican City. That process could wrap up as early as March, just in time for Easter.