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Local Catholic leaders respond to Pope’s announcement

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While the Pope’s announcement Monday may have come as a shock to the faithful, some Catholic leaders who know Pope Benedict personally aren’t completely surprised.

The archbishop of Indianapolis, Joseph Tobin, said he had noticed some changes. Tobin worked with the pope for years in Vatican City.

Last year, he noticed the pontiff was having trouble walking long distances and standing for extended periods of time. Tobin said the pontiff’s mental state was not in question, though.

“I noted no impairment at all in his mental faculties, in fact he remained rather insightful both in public appearances as well as in personal conversations,” said Tobin.

Archbishop Tobin also said the pope would not step down because of any church-related issues, controversial or not.

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