Montrealers react to pope's resignation
Georg Ratzinger says his brother Pope Benedict had been considering stepping down for months.
But today's announcement from the Vatican has shocked Roman Catholics around the world, setting the stage for a conclave to elect a new Pope before Easter.
The 85-year-old pope says his age and poor health are forcing him to step down on the 28th of this month.
Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
Most of the faithful who attended early services at the Oratory's Crypt Church emerged from their prayers in silence. Among the few who would speak, this woman:
"... and I thought, I don't think I heard that correctly. So, I did hear it correctly. I don't know any more than that. Yes, I was exceedingly surprised," she said.
This man told CJAD the pope must follow his conscience — and that the papacy will go on.
"Someboy else will do it," he said.
The man, who appreciates how the pope, though he may be revered, is still a man with strength and weakness.
"If he feels like he's not fulfilling what he has to do, probably it's the best way to quit and somebody else will take the job," he said.
When asked if the current pope's predecessor should have left when he was physically weakened, the man smiled and answered: John Paul the Second was unique.
Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papal throne by the College of Cardinals in April 2005. He will leave just a few weeks shy of his 86th birthday.