EUGENE, Ore. — Pope Benedict officially stepped down from his position as pope Thursday. It was a historic moment because Benedict was the first pope to step down from his position in 600 years. As of five o’clock Thursday, Benedict’s new title is Pope Emeritus.
Locally, parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Eugene said although they are sad Benedict stepped down, they know the church will choose a good replacement. While some churchgoers said they were curious to see who replaces Benedict, others said they aren’t worried about the church filling his shoes.
Parishioners said they believe Benedict was a great pope during his short time as pope, but they understand his need to retire.
“If he feels he’s not capable of continuing on as the leader of our church, the Roman Catholic Church, I think it’s great that he made a decision like that,” said Eugene resident Paul Park.
“I’m sad that he’s departing, but he made that choice and God’s with him, and you know I think he’ll be fine,” said Eugene resident Larry Washburn.
As for the future of the church, many parishioners said they will continue to pray for a good replacement.