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The pope's resignation blind-sided a priest from St. Peter Clavers off Vineville Avenue.

"I woke up this morning to this surprising news out of the vatican, well I thought it was a joke you know and then I turned on the tv and I saw the news," says pastor Daniel Melaba.

Even though he didn't see it coming, Melaba says he understands the pope's decision. "I think it's something he's agonized over."

Old age and ailing health are viable factors for retirement and in this case resignation.

The news comes right before Lent, a fasting period that leads up to Easter.

"It's we humans who are worried about time. What time is appropriate, what time is right. We worship God in and out of seasons. You know for God, there is no time that is not opportune time," Melaba says.

Melaba comes from Nigeria and has called Macon home for the past four years.

He says new leadership doesn't necessarily mean a shift in tradition.

"By and large, it's the same gospel. It's going to be the same church and so I see more of continuity," he says. "Still, it has not sunken in that this happened.

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