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There are more than 900,000 catholics in the Diocese of Cleveland. And Monday morning, many were shocked to learn that the leader of the Catholic Church is stepping down.

In churches across the diocese on Monday, there were prayers for Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Richard Lennon said that the pope resigning is an historic event and an action motivated by his love for the church.

Fr. Mark Ott studied in Rome for six years. He spoke to Pope Benedict briefly last year.

“He is happy to see everyone and greets you with a simple handshake and wants to hear from you,” said Ott.

Pope Benedict was the first pope to take to Twitter to try and get his message out, especially to the young people. Kevin Klonowski is studying to be a priest and saw the pope at World Youth Day a few years ago.

“I think Pope Benedict XVI has influenced the lives of millions of young people,” said Klonowski.

The pope influenced Tim Roth’s decision to become a priest.

“He influenced me, who I want to be as a man and a priest,” said Roth.

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