Catholics across the globe have mixed reactions as news of Pope Benedicts resignation began to sink in.Visitors St. Peter’s Square in Rome are already growing in numbers, to bid adieu to the Pope. They are also eager to see the new Pope.
They may have been few in number now but a steady build up of followers is expected over the next few weeks. Monday’s late night serenade for the Pontiff was accompainied by banners and chants of encouragement.
In Paris a special service was held in Notre Dame.
While some worshippers said Pope Benedict should not be standing down others valued his contribution during his eight year tenure.
One woman said: “I think he was different from Jean Paul II who was very charismatic. Benedict XVI told the truth with a simplicity that touched everyone.”
In Bethlehem local residents said the Pope’s decision was unexpected but considered it a positive move with many looking to the future.
“As a Palestinian Christian, what I would expect, and what I hope for and pray for actually, is that the coming Pope will be even more invested and more concerned with the end of occupation on the Palestinian lands,” said a one local.
In Jerusalem the mood was of acceptance, with many applauding what they described as Benedict’s courageous move to make way for a younger hands.