In this picture, Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a mass at Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Monday, March 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano)
Updated: Monday, 11 Feb 2013, 10:55 AM EST
Published : Monday, 11 Feb 2013, 10:13 AM EST
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on -- the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.
As with everywhere, the announcement reverberated here in the Miami Valley.
In a statement released shortly after the announcement, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of the the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati said:
"In announcing his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI has acted humbly and unselfishly for the good of the Church. That same spirit has characterized his entire life of service. "I will always remember Pope Benedict as he described himself on the day of his election as pope in 2005 - 'a simple, humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord."
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 38th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics.