Paprocki, with the Catholic Diocese in Springfield, says the Pope Benedict’s decision to resign is a sign of his humility.
“Though the announcement of his resignation was a surprise, we can surely understand and admire the Pope's courage in facing his frailties," says Paprocki. "His humility and concern for the people he has pastured is a sign of great love for the church."
Paprocki says he met with the Pope last year and saw just how demanding his schedule was.
“He had an hour with us but he was running late because he had a meeting before ours with bishops from another part of the world," says Paprocki. "Then you have to realize this is a big part of what the Pope does on a daily basis. It's very understandable that he would want at this point in this life to take some time to be able to rest."
Paprocki says it’s likely the next Pope will be young and energetic, and he says he wouldn’t be surprised if the next Pope wasn’t from Europe.
“Of course, I have no crystal ball and no way of knowing that," says Paprocki. "Certainly, the church in Europe is still a very important part of our church, but in many ways, especially now in the 21st century, the church has very much expanded beyond that sphere of European influence."
Paprocki says the Pope has been a defender of the truth and a voice for the poor. The Pope says his physical condition prevents him from adequately serving the people any longer. His last day will be February 28th. One-hundred-eighteen Cardinals will select the Pope's successor.