LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) - There are more than 450,000 Catholics in the diocese of Las Vegas.
Pope benedict's announcement today was met with shock, but also acceptance.
News 3's Jerry Brown spoke with the head of the Las Vegas catholic church, as well as a leading Catholic theologian to help put the papal resignation into a local perspective.The following is a statement from the Diocese of Las Vegas:
The Most Reverend Joseph A. Pepe, Bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas, said today that he was praying for Pope Benedict and admired his courage after hearing the news of his decision to resign.
“We are grateful to Pope Benedict for his Papal Ministry and the special gifts he extended as Pope in the depth of faith and love he had for Christ and His Church. His true gift is the vitality and clarity he gave to his teaching - Jesus was always a living person that he encountered in his life and he extended that vision and faith experience to all he met and instructed in his ministry as priest, cardinal and Pope.
I am sure this was not an easy answer to arrive at and we as a Catholic Community pray for his continued health and ministry in prayer and reflection in the coming years,” Bishop Pepe said.
Details of a papal conclave will not be set until after the resignation of Benedict XVI is final on February 28, 2013. There will be no need to wait the normal eight days of mourning (novendali) after the death of the Pope so it is anticipated that a conclave will be called in mid-March so that the election of a new Pope can take place prior to Holy Week.
A conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect a new Bishop of Rome, known more commonly as the Pope. The Pope is considered to be the apostolic successor of St. Peter and heads the Roman Catholic Church.