AS news of the Pope’s resignation spread across the world this week, the shock announcement was also felt here in Hucknall’s Catholic community.
With a strong following of the Catholic Church across the district, centred around Holy Cross Church on Watnall Road, its Priest and parisioners were said to be surprised as events unfolded.
“It did come as a surprise but I wasn’t shocked by it,” said Fr Frank Carvill. “I do think it is a marvellous decision on behalf of the Pope.
“For anyone who plays such an important part in the church or society and then find they are unable to fulfil that role either in a physical or mental way should step aside and let someone who can take on the position.”
Pope Benedict XVI has served as head of the Catholic Church for eight years saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.
Fr Frank added: “This is good news for the church to welcome a new Pope and signals a new beginning.”
It is the first papal resignation for 600 years and has surprised church and world leaders as well as millions of Catholic followers.
The Vatican expects to appoint a new Pope before Easter with suggestions that it could be time for a change from the European preference to be replaced with a candidate from Africa or Latin America which hosts the biggest Catholic population.
But for Hucknall’s Fr Frank it doesn’t matter who Pope Benedict’s replacement will be.
“All this speculation is just a waste of time. The different labels whether liberal or conservative, Caribbean, African or European doesn’t really matter,” added Fr Frank.
“All we can ask is that he will be a holy and wise Pope the rest I will leave to the Holy Spirit.
The Hucknall priest who has led the Catholic community at Holy Cross for four and a half years, says the news of the Pope’s resignation has become the subject of much community conjecture and conversation.
“The parish are talking about what has happened because it did come as such a surprise,” he added. “But whatever happens in the future, I will pray for Pope Benedict and his successor - whoever that might be.”