This was the scene around 2 o'clock this afternoon....the doors at the Vatican closing, closing a chapter in the Catholic Church's book as pope benedict stepped down today. Here in Central New York this was the scene tonight...A mass was held in remembrance of the pope emeritus.
Father Mark Kaminski of St. Anthony's church says, "I think the initial dust has settled by now and we can move in peace and wish him all the best for his retirement years and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so whoever's going to be the new successor in the office of Peter will guide us."
Many Catholics say they were surprised to hear pope benedict was stepping aside, but say they were proud of him for the decision.
Utica resident Rosemary Chiffy says, "I believe the Pope did a marvelous and brave thing. He knew that he wasn't capable of continuing to lead the church."
Marilyn Sardina of Utica added, "I hate to see anyone resign, but if he feels he can't do it, he's better off to resign than have people think he's incompetent."
For now the papacy is vacant leaving some question in the church, but some say they hope the next leader of the church will have similar qualities to Pope Benedict.
Father Kaminski says, "One of his greatest contributions was actually calling and challenging all of us to what he calls new evangelization, you know not only should we be excited about our faith, in our case catholic tradition but also to be joyful enough to spread it around."