"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I've come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to the adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," stated Pope Benedict XVI.
This was an announcement that took the world by surprise.
After 8 years as the head of the Catholic Church, Benedict announced his plan to resign on February 28th.
"In order to govern the bark of Saint Peter, and proclaim the gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary," explained Benedict.
At 85 years old, Benedict says he just doesn't have that strength to adequately do his job.
"We have appreciated of course, the wonderful ministry of Pope Benedict XVI," stated Monsignor Larry Droll. "And we thank god for his ministry."
Monsignor Droll has been a Pastor at Saint Ann's Catholic Church in Midland for 9 years.
While he wasn't expecting the pope to resign, he says it was a wise decision.
"It shows that he very carefully considered it," said Monsignor Droll. "Very prayerfully considered it."
And this seems to be the overall feeling from many who shared their comments on the Big 2 Facebook page.
Leigha Gaines wrote: "I think he is very brave to admit he doesn't believe he can continue to do the job required."
And Diana Hudgins commented: "I trust that he knows his time is through as pope. I know that he is feeble. I pray god's best in whoever is to be the next pope."
That's a concern from many Catholics around the world, who anxiously wait to see who the next Pope will be.
"The Cardinals of the church from all over the world will gather together in Rome in a conclave," explained Droll. "And that's where they will prayerfully elect the new Pope."
Monsignor Droll tells us that decision will come down in March.
Meanwhile, Pope Benedict thanks Catholic members around the world for their continued support.
"I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry," said Pope Benedict. "And I ask pardon for all my defects."
In his statement, Pope Benedict says he plans to continue serving the Catholic Church through a life dedicated to prayer.
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