News of Pope Benedict's decision to resign on Feb. 28 because he no loner the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, spread through the religious community very quickly on Monday morning.
Father Charles Schwartz of St. Dorothea's Church, 240 Broad St., Eatontown, said his initial reaction to the news was that he "thought (he) had heard it wrong."
"However, when I listened to what he said, it didn't surprise me as much Schwartz said. "He's not a very prideful man and I think he realized that there was something going on that was not allowing him to handle the church as much as he could.
"He has always struck me as a person who wanted to put the church first," Schwartz continued. "I'm impressed that he could make that huge step and put the good of the church first and foremost."
Pope Benedict, 85, will become the first pope in over 600 years to resign from his position.