For the first time in nearly six centuries, the leader of the Catholic Church has resigned from the papacy.
Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation saying that his age and health were detrimental to his ability to lead the religion with more than 1 billion followers worldwide.
"For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter," he said according to a statement from the Vatican.
The change comes just 7 years after Benedict replaced Pope John Paul II who led the Catholic Church for more than 25 years until his death in 2005.
With a new Pope comes the opportunity for change within the Catholic Church.
"The resignation sets up a struggle between the staunchest conservatives, in Benedict’s mold, who advocated a smaller church of more fervent believers, and those who feel the church can broaden its appeal in small but significant ways, like allowing divorced Catholics to receive communion or loosening restrictions on condom use to prevent AIDS," The New York Times said.
If you are a Catholic in Massachusetts, you are with nearly 45 percent of the state's population. What do you think of the change?