(WHAS11) -- After Pope Benedict the XVI’s historic announcement of his resignation, the Archdiocese of Louisville and Kentuckiana Catholics are weighing in on what they are calling a shocking decision.
Pope Benedict the XVI will step down as the head of the Catholic church on February 28, after just seven years as the church leader.
This is the first time in nearly 600 years a pope has resigned.
The 85-year-old cited his health as the reason why he planned to resign. The announcement coming just two days before the holiest time of year for Catholics, but many say they are eager to see who will be appointed to the role.
“It'll be an exciting time in the church. We’re obviously making history and it'll be exciting to have a new pope in time for Easter,” Mary Beth Kenney, a catholic, said.
“I hope he has the same enthusiasm and spirit that our present father has Pope Benedict,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, with the Archdiocese of Louisville, said.
In March, 118 cardinals will seclude themselves in the Sistine Chapel until they appoint a new Pope.
The hope for many Catholics is to have a new Pope by Easter on March 31.