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Catholics confident church will remain strong

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BATON ROUGE- Some Catholics in Baton Rouge were surprised by Pope Benedict's announcement he would be stepping down at the end of February. Others, including some church leaders, say there have been some signs and rumors.

Father Tom Ranzino says Benedict's health appeared to be a bigger issue in recent months. Ranzino says it takes courage to leave a position of leadership. He is certain Pope Benedict did not make that decision without a "tremendous" amount of prayer.

Others attending a noon Mass at Our Lady of Mercy Church are also optimistic about the future. Betty Moore says Benedict is wise to step down if his health is affecting his job. She also considers the Pope "a prayer warrior," saying she is confident God is speaking to him about the change.


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