Updated: Monday, 11 Feb 2013, 5:46 PM EST
Published : Monday, 11 Feb 2013, 1:29 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Archbishop of Indianapolis knows Pope Benedict on a personal and professional level.
Archbishop Joseph Tobin worked for many years in Vatican City and developed a relationship with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before the Cardinal was named Pope.
WANE sister station WISH's Jay Hermacinski met with the Archbishop this morning to get his reaction to the Pope's decision to step down.
Archbishop Tobin says he was in morning prayer when he received a call from Rome and was told Pope Benedict announced his plans to resign.
Archbishop Tobin says he was not completely surprised by the news.
That's because the Pope had said years earlier if he could not carry out his duties as head of the Catholic Church he would consider stepping aside.
Archbishop Tobin wondered if the pope timed his announcement since this day in the Catholic Church is known as the Day of the Sick.
The Archbishop says over the past couple of years he has witnessed Pope benedict's declining physical health.
"I could see the physical deterioration of the Pope's health, especially in walking and his ability to stand for long periods of time," Tobin said. "I noted no impairment at all in his mental faculties. He remained very insightful and open in public appearances as well as personal conversation."
Afternoon mass at St. John's downtown began with an announcement that the Pope had decided to resign his position at the end of February. Some in the congregation had heard the news, others had not.
“It is very shocking but life goes on. We just need to have the man in our prayers” said Stephen Herr of Indianapolis.
While it is unclear where Pope Benedict will live out the rest of his days once he steps down, Archbishop Tobin expects the Pope will head to a Monastery where he can pray, write, and remain out of the spotlight.
Archbishop Tobin says this is now a time for Catholics to pray for the Pope and pray for the future of the Church.
He believes the top decision makers in the church will move quickly to name a successor once Pope Benedict resigns.
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