Bay area residents weigh in on Pope's resignation - WFLA News Channel 8

Bay area residents weigh in on Pope's resignation

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VATICAN CITY (WFLA) -

About three-quarters of the people in the Bay area believe Pope Benedict XVI has a good excuse for stepping down from the papacy, according to a News Channel 8 poll conducted by SurveyUSA Monday.

Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties. On February 28 he will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.

53% of people in the Bay area approve of the job Pope Benedict has done. 22% say they disapprove, and 25% are unsure. 65% say they were surprised by today's announcement.

76% of people in the Bay area believe age is an acceptable reason for a pope to resign. Only about half (52%) believe a pope should play a minor role in the Catholic Church after his resignation. 17% say a major role is acceptable, while more than one in four (28%) say he should play no role at all.

When it comes to selecting the next pontiff, 30% of people in the Bay area believe Pope Benedict XVI should play a major role in the selection. Another 30% say he should play a minor role, while 36% would like to see him play no role at all.

Today's SurveyUSA results hold a margin of error of +/- 4.5%, with the exception of the question regarding whether age is a good excuse, which holds a margin of error of +/-3.8%. 

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