Father Kevin McKenna is Pastor of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, former diocesan chancellor and author of several books on Catholicism. 13WHAM News spoke with him Monday about the announced resignation of Pope Benedict.
"Everybody is experiencing in the Catholic Church and beyond a great deal of shock. This was totally unanticipated I believe. There were some indications of it if you observed him in any ceremonies lately you've noticed that he is slowing down, he's been walking with a cane, he's always transported now in some type of vehicle but it still is a shock and quite a surprise. I think we now become a community of prayer praying for his successor and praying for him. It has obviously been a very tough strain for him over the years and he's carried quite a large burden as the Pope is the shepard of the universal church so I think we are feeling quite a bit of prayer for him and hope that the church will continue to guide us as we know look for his successor."
We asked is he could imagine keeping up the pace that the Pope keeps, especially at age 85. Father McKenna responded, "I can't imagine and I was just reflecting on the fact that we will be entering Lent and at the end of Lent we have holy week and those are very long ceremonies that take place and for a man of his age and diminishing stamina I was just trying to picture how he would do all of those ceremonies so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that this is the moment that he has chosen to resign but not only the physical ceremonies and traveling that he does, the weight of the office and the burdens of the office and the burdens of the office and all the difficult issues he has to speak to the world on behalf of the church I'm sure has been quite draining as well."