Catholics In Scranton Say Farewell To Pope Benedict XVI

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SCRANTON -- Pope Benedict XVI gave his final farewell speech to millions of followers early Wednesday, the day before his last day of his papacy.

At the Catholic Guild store on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton, several pictures and books of Pope Benedict can be seen on a front table in the store. All for sale, and all selling well, right before the Pope's last day.

"I feel bad, I think he's a lot sicker than people think. I don't think he made the decision alone, people helped him make this decision for the best of the church," says Suzi Rade of Moscow.

"I think that a younger man hopefully will resume the place of the Pope so that he can put energy and travel and so forth and spread the word," says John Marrazzo of Hop Bottom.

Pope Benedict XVI ruled for the past eight years, serving the Catholic Church, until most recently when he announced he would step down because of his ailing health, and age.

Others allege he is stepping down because he tried to cover up years of clerical sexual abuse.

But even with the controversy, people have been coming in to the Guild Store, in Scranton, and racking up on their Pope Benedict memorabilia.

"People want a remembrance because it's historic, so they're taking anything that has Pope Benedict on it and they're buying serious things also," says store clerk, Gretchen Meyers.

The store clerk tells Newswatch 16 books on Pope Benedict have been flying off the shelves but that's not all, books on the history of the church and the Conclave, the next step in picking the new Pope, have sold out.

"This is an historic moment with Pope Benedict resigning and a fairly soon a conclave to choose a new Pope so people are really interested," says Bill Genello of the Diocese of Scranton.

There will be a mass held on Thursday, February 28 at St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton by Bishop Bambera to honor the Pope.

You can still buy Pope Benedict memorabilia, just head to