What's your reaction to the Pope's exit? What should the Cardinals look for in the next Pope? Will we see the first non-European pontiff? How will the change affect Catholics around the world and in Woodbridge? Tell us in the comments below.
Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday that he will step down from his position Feb. 28, citing failing strength of “mind and body."
He will be the first pontiff to resign since 1415, the Washington Post reports.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the Pope said in a statement.
Pope Benedict, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now 85, was selected in April 2005 after the death of the very popular and charismatic Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict was 78 at the time — the oldest person in more than 200 years chosen to head the church.
Benedict's reign has been distracted by clerical abuse scandals and Vatican internal struggles.