Area Catholics Say Goodbye to Pope
GREEN BAY-- Green Bay area Catholics gathered for a special mass to reflect on the pope and look forward to the Catholic Church’s future.
It was a special mass, on a special day for Catholics, as Pope Benedict’s eight year reign as the leader of the Catholic Church comes to an end.
Bishop David Ricken says it's a bittersweet day for Catholics worldwide.
"The fact that he didn't die in office and that he is still alive is a little bit uncomfortable because we've never done this before, but it's also a time when the faithful are really concerned about the church's presence in the world,” Bishop Ricken said.
And while Catholics were shocked by the pope's decision most agree he made the right choice.
"He's given us 8 years of service, I think he's recognized his frailties and in a true giving to the church that he has felt it's time to step down,” said Scott Stillwell of Green Bay.
"You always feel sad, like someone who would leave but you always look forward to the future and the new and the excitement that's there,” said Shirley Kagel
For more than 360,000 area Catholics, the church's next leader is vitally important.
Catholics worldwide are certainly looking forward to who will become the next pope; the Vatican says that decision should be made before Easter,