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AP Photo Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected, at the Vatican on April 19, 2005. On Monday, Benedict XVI announced he would resign the papacy Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

Area Catholic leaders surprised by Pope Benedict XVI resignation

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The reaction in western North Dakota was largely the same as the reaction worldwide Monday after Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be resigning effective at the end of February.

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Benedict, the first leader of the Catholic Church to step down in nearly 600 years, sent shock waves throughout the church.

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Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
(701) 456-1207
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