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Southwest Voices: The Pope Resigns

Pope Benedict XVI will be the first pope to resign in 600 years. The leader of the world's one billion Catholics cited his advanced age as " incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry.”

Reactions around the world are mixed, and we wanted to gauge how people across the Southwest felt about the pope's decision.

"I'm a Roman Catholic. I'm comfortable with the decision. I think it takes a lot of guts to acknowledge that you are too old or no longer have the capacity to do the job -- any job. It's especially difficult when the job is a powerful one with lots of prestige."

— Jane Rasor, Tempe, AZ

"I was raised Catholic. I am actually more connected to the church today than I have ever been previously in my life. Not because i felt some new spirituality, but rather because my wife and I are attempting to raise a well-rounded child, and we feel that part of that is having our child attend church and Sunday school (CCD). That said, I can not say that beyond idle curiosity the pope's decision means little to me. I don't feel that the doings of the church at that level effect me at all. Having a more or less conservative, theological or political Pope really has little bearing on me one way or the other. The bottom line is that I feel comfortable with the church as an ethnic and cultural touch stone, but I don't necessarily strictly follow the dogma and teachings of the church."

— Fabian Gonzalez, Damon, TX

"This is unheard of. I'm not Catholic, but I am Christian. This makes me wonder at the politics that go on behind closed doors at the Vatican and also makes me question the stability of the modern Catholic Church. I know that the passing of a pope from office is no small thing, as was evidenced by the mourning and showing for the latest pope."

— Preston Cathcart, Glendale, AZ

"I might not have, as we say in Colombia, "candles in that funeral", because I am no longer a Catholic. Though I was one until about 25 years ago, I am now what some would call "Protestant," but I rather see myself as a Christian. I think it is admirable that the pope had the character and courage to resign; it was a sorry spectacle to see John Paul II being ferried around as a display dummy when it was obvious he was more dead than alive during his last year; so it is a relief we won't be seeing that again in Benedict's case."

— Jorge Salcedo, Gilbert, AZ

"I am happy. I left the traditional Catholic Church and joined Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community (with women priests, married priests, and gay priests) after reading "Good Catholic Girls." I left the Magisterium Church about four years ago now, but both I and my community look forward to the day when the church will come to terms with reality and deal logically with the priest shortage, the acceptance of the LGBT community, and the need for the expansion of the role of women. It wasn't going to happen with this pope. Maybe we can get closer with the next one."

— Vinka Valdivia, San Diego, CA

All of the respondents shared their views through the Public Insight Network. If you would like to become a source for Fronteras: The Changing America Desk, tell us what you have an interest or expertise in.