Pope Benedict the 16th is the first Pope in six centuries to resign, but due the 85 year old's health is now declining, and he'll officially resign at the end of the month
"Because this morning, Pope Benedict the 16th, announced that he would retire as the successor of peter."
Father Thomas Muldowney is calling it a "historical day in the church".
The early morning announcement by Pope Benedict the 16th, that he will retire on February 28th, shocked local church goers, but they support his decision.
"Well surprised, but as I read the reasoning, I thought it was sensible." said Don McKeon of Scranton
"He's 85. Look at the toll the presidency has had on President 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." added Barb O'Malley of Scranton.
Barb O'Malley met Pope Benedict back in 2008.
She says he was a warm and engaging man.
More on the Pope's Announcement on Later Editions of Eyewitness News.