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Local Catholics react to Pope's announcement

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Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI
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EAST TEXAS (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Catholics in the Diocese of Tyler were stunned with the rest of the world by the news of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI today.

"I was just shocked; it's the first time that's happened in my lifetime," said Joyce Reiner, 81, who was celebrating noon Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. "It's sad. I'm sorry his health is so bad."

It's the first time a Pope has resigned in almost 600 years.

While criticisms circulate about the move, only days before the beginning of Lent, Catholics in Tyler are calling it "courageous."

"He came to a point in his life where he couldn't keep up with the rigors of his duties," said John Petosa. "He probably prayed and reflected on it. I respect him. It's a courageous decision. Each of us gets to that point where we know we can't do something well anymore. It's difficult to get to that place in life."

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