MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Pope's resignation is sending shock waves throughout the Catholic Church. The announcement came early Monday morning.
In it, Pope Benedict XVI cited his deteriorating health as one of the main reasons he will step down. He said he's repeatedly examined his conscience before God and is well aware of the seriousness of his decision.
Local Catholics told abc24.com if the Pope his confident about his decisions, who are they to question him
"All we can do is pray for him and ask the Holy Spirit to guide him," said Anne McGee.
Erin Butterick added, "It is surprising; usually they're in until they die or are very ill or sick, so it seems a little surprising. It does seem like it came out of nowhere."
The Pope's resignation will become effective February 28.
Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis stated, “The news is a shock to us all. At this early stage of events, we are not sure what it means for our church. Pope Benedict had indicated earlier that he would retire if he was not able to fulfill his duties, but it still is a shock. Details are yet to come from the Vatican about the retirement and the election of his replacement. The Vatican will announce the date and time for convening of the Conclave of Cardinals to elect our next pope, but no one is in the position to know who the next pope will be.”