Pope’s resignation surprises St. Theodore leaderPublished 10:00am Tuesday, February 12, 2013
St. Theodore Catholic Church’s leader said Monday he was surprised to hear news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of this month.
“If someone would have told me I wouldn’t have believed them, but I happened to turn on the radio and heard it on there,” said the Rev. Tim Reker, who oversees the parishes in Albert Lea and Twin Lakes.
Reker said the surprise came mainly because the resignation was the first for a pope in nearly 600 years.
In his announcement, Benedict said he was too infirm to carry on the duties of being pope, which requires “both strength of mind and body.”
When he started the position in 2005, Benedict was the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years.
Reker, who has been serving locally for about 1 1/2 years, said Benedict has been an articulate spokesman for the church.
“Although he is a very learned man, he had an ability to express the faith in very understandable terms,” he said.
The move sets the stage for the Vatican to hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn’t have to be observed.
Reker said while it is unknown at this point where the pope will come from, he doesn’t think it will be from North America.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.