Betty Gaster was setting up the altar for morning Mass at St. Juliana Catholic Church in West Palm Beach when her pastor gave her the shocking news that Pope Benedict XVI had announced his retirement.
Benedict, 85, told a group of cardinals on Monday that he was leaving his post after eight years because his health was too poor for him to continue his duties as the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion Roman Catholics. The announcement took Catholics, even Vatican insiders, by surprise. It is also only the fifth time a pope has resigned.
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