Local Catholics take pope's resignation in stride

pope resignation john cayer catholic our lady of victory

The Rev. John Cayer, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Crestview, advises his parishioners to remain "rooted in prayer" as the church begins its transition to a new pope.

FILE PHOTO | News Bulletin
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 09:30 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Following surprise and shock from Pope Benedict XVI's announcement of his resignation, local Catholics are relying on their faith to see their church through a period of transition.

"I think the first reaction was shock, amazement and 'is this true?'" the Rev. John Cayer, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Crestview, said of his parishioners' reaction to the news. The pontiff on Monday said he would resign Feb. 28 due to declining health. "Then after that initial shock, I think they appeal to their faith, in which they appeal to the eternal shepherd instead of the earthly shepherd.

"I implored them to trust in this entire process that Pope Benedict has started, and that God will guide them through this, as he has the last 2,000 years."

Crestview High School senior Alma Masters, 17, said she believes plenty of prayer preceded what must have been a difficult decision for the pontiff.

"My reaction, actually, was he's a very wise man for doing it," Alma said. "Because if you don't think you can fulfill the role anymore, it's better to step down rather than sticking it out and something going bad. I'm sure he definitely prayed about it a lot and put a lot of thought into it."

"I'm just glad he did the right thing," Lynette Rogers, a Crestview mother of two, said. "If he felt he was not able to do his job, I think he made the right decision. Hopefully, they (church leaders) will realize we need to maybe pick a younger pope."

Nellie Golden, of Crestview, said she believes the church will continue on the path the pope has set, but understands his decision to step down.



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