Local Man Says Seeing Pope Changed His Life

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A local radio executive described getting close to Pope Benedict XVI as a life-changing event.

Pope Benedict announced his resignation on Monday, citing declining health.

General Manager Ray Somich, of radio station WELW, sat in one of his masses held in the U.S.

"The mass in the stadium in New York City was something that my wife and I will never forget," said Somich.

Somich said 100,000 people filled the stadium that day.

"It was life-changing because there was such a distinction between the world that we all know, and the fact the Pope came to this particular place, in America and subjected himself to potential physical harm and emotional harm and yet was there to spread the message of God's love," said Somich.

"I think he touched me in the way he probably touched every person in there," said Somich. "We had the subway running behind us, we had a lot of people making a lot of noise and yet, watching him, it was like he was talking to me."

He said seeing the Pontiff in such a setting helped him reaffirm what is truly important in life.

The Vatican hopes to have a new Pontiff in place by Easter.

For more on the Pope's resignation, click here.