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Oregon Catholics Respond To Pope's Announced Retirement

Oregon Catholics are responding to Pope Benedict’s retirement announcement. 

Outside the historic St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in downtown Bend, resident Marie Walsh says she was surprised to hear of Pope Benedict’s decision.  Walsh was on her way to mass, but she stopped to praise the man, whom she called a wonderful Pope.  Asked who’d she like to see take his place, Walsh’s face lit up with big smile. 

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in downtown Bend.

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in downtown Bend.

David Nogueras/OPB

“I’d love to see an Italian pope,” she said. “Maybe even an American pope.”

Fellow parishioner, Louise Brotherton says she too was surprised by the announcement, but says the question of who should replace Benedict is beyond her ability to answer. 

“God has a plan and I’m not sure that that plan is but we just have to trust in God,” said Brotherton.

A new pontiff will be selected by members of the College of Cardinals.  One of those electors will be William Levada, the former archbishop of Portland.

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