Citing advanced years and infirmity, but showing characteristic tough-mindedness and unpredictability,
shocked Roman Catholics on Monday by saying that he would resign at the end of this month becoming the first pope to do so in six centuries.
One of the leading questions locally about Pope Benedict's resignation concerns the selection of the next Bishop of Rochester. Will Pope Benedict make the choice or will his successor?
Father Bill Graf is the Chairman of the Religion Department at St. John Fisher College in Rochester and he feels Pope Benedict could act on the selection before he retires at the end of the month.
Bishop Matthew Clark
Bishop Matthew Clark's retirement took effect last September and Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham has been acting as Apostolic administrator for the Rochester Diocese since.
Father Graf wasn't surprised by the Pope's decision to step aside. He knows the Pope has had worries about his health for some time now.
We asked Father Bill Graf just what role would a Pope emeritus have?
The Rochester Diocese serves 254-thousand Catholics.