In this April 28, 2009, file photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI stands by the salvaged remains of Pope Celestine V, in the 13th-century Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica. Pope Benedict announced early Monday morning he would resign, the first pope to do so in 600 years.
Some local and state Roman Catholic leaders were shocked by Pope Benedict XVI's resignation announcement Monday morning, while others praised it.
"I think everybody's just in shock," said Sister Betty Uchytil, principal at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School in Sheboygan. "It's an extremely unusual event in the church."
The 85-year-old pope cited age and declining health in his announcement, which was issued in Latin during a meeting of cardinals. The resignation, effective Feb. 28, means a conclave of cardinals will be held in Rome next month to elect a successor. ...