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updated: 2/11/2013 11:10 AM

Christian world surprised at Pope's decision

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Associated Press

KRAKOW, Poland -- Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign due to his frailty was met with shock, surprise and disbelief from staunchly Catholic Poland to London's Westminster Abbey.

Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz expressed surprise at the decision, but said it was dictated by the sense of responsibility for the leadership of the Church, which Benedict has held since 2005.

In London, many worshippers entering Westminster Cathedral for a regularly scheduled mass had yet to hear about the pope's resignation.

"I didn't realize his health was that bad," said Charlie Sweeney. "He's carried an enormous responsibility on his shoulders and the crisis one after another hasn't really helped."

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