The world was shocked Monday when Pope Benedict XVI stated his plans to resign on Feb. 28, news sources reported.
Pope Benedict will be the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Pope, who is 85-years-old, said it was his health and old age that led him to the decision, according to The New York Times.
"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, as reported by the New York Daily News.
Vatican officials said after the Pope resigns he will go to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat south of Rome, and eventually spend the rest of his life in prayer at a cloistered monastery, according to the New York Daily News.