In the Long Beach area, the faithful were mainly supportive Monday of the Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign. | PHOTOS
"I hope he does well," said parishioner Mary Fair following an 8 a.m. Mass at St. Matthew Parish at 672 Temple Ave.
Catherine Fitzpatrick said the decision is historic, but added that it's not unlike one's father deciding that he must retire due to failing health.
"It was a great surprise," she said. "It's a historic moment."
Another parishioner, Irene Cisneros, said she believes the pope demonstrated bravery with the decision to step down.
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"I give him credit for that," she said.
She and a friend wondered if an Italian cardinal would be selected to fill in the new vacancy.
"It will be interesting to follow it up," said Deli Marrujo.
Following a 9 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony's Catholic Church near downtown Long Beach, parishioner Ray Regner said that he had heard the pope's health problems could make it difficult for him to travel. He added that he had also heard there might be mental failings, as well.
"It was a surprise," Regner said. "But I've known a lot of people who lose their abilities as they aged."
Parishioner Yadira Gonzalez said she believes the pope may simply be accepting his fate.
"There's always a greater calling," she said.