A local religious leader said that Catholics have nothing to fear after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on Monday, effective at the end of the month.
Monsignor Gregory Ketcham of Saint John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois said he was startled when he first heard about the pope's decision, but understood why he's resigning.
Ketcham also said many followers love Pope Benedict for acting more pastoral than expected.
Ketcham said he believes Pope Benedict will continue to affect the Catholic faith by spending the rest of his life in prayer and his work in theological writings.
Benedict is the first pope to step down in 600 years.