Local Catholic Educator, Student Reacts to Pope’s Announcement

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Worldwide reactions to the Papel resignation announcement have been plentiful as well as varied. Following Monday’s announcement WHNT News 19 spoke with an educator from Pope John Paul II Catholic  High School in Huntsville about how he is handling questions from the student body.

“My initial reaction is that it’s probably a courageous thing for him to do,” says freshman religion instructor James Reisz. Reisz says he has not addressed the papel decision to resign specifically with his students yet, but that such an atypical move even has him brushing up on his history.

“We definitely intend to follow the process as we look at it and go back and revisit something we’ve talked about before: the role of the Pope and bishops in the Catholic Church.”

But what about the buzz among the student body?

“A lot of us didn’t really expect it because truthfully a lot of us don’t keep tabs on what the Pope is doing,” says junior Margaret White.

While American-Catholic teens may not keep a vigilant hand on the pulse of Papel goings-on, White says she still realizes the historical significance of the decision as she prepares to see the third Pope in her lifetime lead the Vatican.

“He is getting up in age so it is a really brave move for him to decide that he can’t carry on what the church needs him to do,” says White. “So to step down was a really brave thing, I think.”

As far as a potential successor for Pope Benedict XVI, James Reisz says right now it is anyone’s guess and the world is watching.

“I think it’s just going to be very interesting to follow the process and I think the only thing that will surprise me is if there are no surprises in the process.”

Pope Benedict says he will go to a Papal summer retreat after his resignation then he will move to a monastery where he will dedicate the remainder of his life to prayer.

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