Scranton, Lackawanna County-Father Thomas Muldowney is calling it a "historical day in the church". The early morning announcement by Pope Benedict that he will retire on February 28th, shocked local church go-ers, but they support his decision. "Well surprised, but as I read the reasoning, I thought it was sensible." says, Don McKeon. "He's 85. Look at the toll the presidency has had on Obama, and this is a leader as well. A leader of the church, so I can see where there can be a toll taken on the Pope, and I think at 85 he deserves to retire." says Barb O'Malley. O'Malley met Pope Benedict back in 2008. She says he was a warm and engaging man. "People loved him. It was like a pep rally for the Pope, they were yelling Pope, Pope!" says, O'Malley. While everyone seems to be shocked about the Pope's decision, they also seem to be very accepting. The big question now, what happens next? "That's the big question. As you know, most Catholics know that when a Pope dies all the cardinals from the world convene at the Vatican and they elect a new pope." says, Father Thomas Muldowney. Over one billion Catholics around the world now wait for a new leader to be elected. In the meantime, Father Muldowney says, we need to celebrate Pope Benedict, and all he did for the church. "I think we need to acknowledge the good work that he's done, throughout his entire priestly life, he's been in ordained ministry for 62 years. Certainly as our holy father he's lead the church through a lot of difficulties, but he's also given the church a lot of wonderful blessings." says, Father Muldowney.