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Local Catholics Support Pope's Resignation

Benedict XVI to step down Feb. 28 for health reasons; Conclave to follow in Rome.

Roman Catholics in Malverne, Lynbrook and West Hempstead expressed their support Monday for Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down at the end of February.

The announcement of Pope Benedict's resignation came in Rome from the ailing pontiff, who has been in deteriorating health, and indicated he is too sick to carry on his duties.

It will be the first time in 600 years that a sitting Pope has abdicated the Throne of St. Peter.

"He is being responsible," said Jeffrey Silfen on Malverne-West Hempstead-Lynbrook Patch’s Facebook page.

Lynbrook resident Michael Scimeca agreed, stating on Patch's Facebook page, "I think it is a great example of self sacrifice! What a concept to able to leave while you are able!"

Another Malverne-West Hempstead-Lynbrook Patch reader Franca Tillona-Blei also showed her support for the pontiff's decision along with some suspcision.

"I think it was the right thing for him to resign based on his age and his inability to move the Catholic church in the direction it needs to go," she wrote. ".Having said that, after having just watched the HBO documentary "Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa" I think there is more to his resignation than fading health!"

John Paul II reigned from 1978 until his death in 2005 and is on the path to Sainthood. Benedict has reigned since April, 2005.

Benedict's resignation sets the stage for the conclave, a secret meeting in Rome of all church Cardinals under 80 years old to decide his successor.

The word "conclave" means, literally, "with a key." Symbolically, the College of Cardinals can not leave the conclave without deciding on a new leader of the world's 1 billion Roman Catholics. 

Officials from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Malverne, Our Lady of Peace Church in Lynbrook and St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hempstead were unavailable for comment.

  • What do you think of Pope Benedict's decision to resign? Tell us in the comments section below.

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