Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of this month after nearly eight years of service in the Catholic Church, according to BBC News.
The Pope, 85, announced that he is too old to continue his duties as head of the church. He is the first Pope since 1294 to willingly resign from this position.
Close aides to Pope Benedict weren't even aware that he planned on stepping down from his position. The Pope cited deteriorating strength of mind and body as his reason for his resignation, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Vatican expects a new Pope to be chosen before Easter.