Washington says farewell to Benedict XVI - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Washington says farewell to Benedict XVI

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WASHINGTON -

It was an historic exit for Pope Benedict XVI Thursday at the Vatican. He is the first Pope to resign in 600 years.

He promises to be loyal to his successor, but leaves behind a church in crisis.

To tap into how Washingtonians feel about Benedict's resignation, FOX 5 had a talk today with a theology professor at Catholic University and attended noon mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Father Michael Weston asked church members to continue to pray in Thanksgiving for Benedict XVI. He also acknowledged how social media savvy the 85-year-old Benedict was as pope. Father Weston referenced his final Tweets, hoping that "all of us would be able to know the job of having Jesus as the center of our life."

Some Catholics told us they respected his decision to leave, but were saddened that church scandals are clouding his legacy.

Christopher Ruddie, who teaches a course on Benedict's writings at Catholic University, said it's clear that scandal and the Vatican leaks scandal were weighing on him. Ruddie said it was unprecedented for a pope to meet with the victims and survivors of sexual abuse as Benedict did when he visited Washington several years ago.

As he left, the Pope Emeritus vowed to be loyal to his successor, and Ruddie says he's sure Benedict will "help out the new pope if the new pope seeks his advice. But I don't see him as being a meddler."


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