In Chicago, some Catholics attending Mass at St. Alphonsus Church on the city’s North Side — a church founded as a German national parish more than a century ago and the only church in the city that still occasionally celebrates Mass in German — say they are saddened by the pope’s decision to step down. But many ultimately agree he is doing the proper, even courageous thing.
“He’s a very frail man, his body is aging and I don’t think (being pope) is something he could handle any more.” says Nancy Oliver, a 73-year-old retired nurse. Like a lot of parishioners at a church that still has many German-Americans, she was excited when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope eight years ago.
Frank Scharl, 72, agrees. Scharl, whose parents came from Bavaria and were married in the Church in 1930, said that just as German-American parishioners were proud when Pope Benedict assumed the papacy, they are proud of his decision to step down for health reasons.
“Who knows,” Scharl says, “he might be a saint someday.”
— Don Babwin — Twitter http://twitter.com/dbabwin
“Pope Live” follows the events of the final day of Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.