Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he is resigning, effective Feb. 28.
Archdiocese of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. today at 2401 Lake Park Drive, in Smyrna, to address questions and concerns. Local churches, including Snellville's St. Oliver Plunkett, are not authorized to comment on the situation.
"It’s very new," said Meaghan Schroeder, assistant communications director for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. "Everyone's just trying to digest it all."
Local residents commenting on Alpharetta-Milton Patch's Facebook page had a mix of reactions, from shocked to disinterest.
"I think nobody really cares. It is just a figurehead position," said Ken Adcox.
Facebook user Todd Harkleroad had a different perspective on the news.
"Hopefully his replacement will recognize the dignity of everyone on the planet, not just some," Harkleroad said.
Robin Morelock Snell was "shocked by the news," while Sarah Horgan seems to thin something else could be going on, saying the Pope's resignation "sounds scandalous."
The pope's resignation letter reads in part:
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry... in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me..."
Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927, in Bavaria, as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, and is the 265th pope. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, in 1415.
Bob Pepalis contributed to this article.
--How do you feel about his resignation? As a Catholic, what impact will this have on your life?