World reacts to Pope's resignation

Pope Benedict left the Catholic world in shock after becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign his office, saying that failing strength had left him unable to lead the church through a period of relentless change and turmoil.

Faithful attend Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Faithful attend Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Nuns pray prior to Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The last chance for a Sunday blessing from Pope Benedict XVI from his studio window is drawing a crowd to St. Peter's Square. Benedict, 85, steps down on Thursday, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. He'll hold his last public audience in the square on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Nuns pray as they wait for Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Faithful hold up a banner with pictures of Pope Benedict XVI and writing reading in Italian "Thank you" as they attend Benedict's last Angelus prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

A priest displays a placard in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican as he follows Pope Benedict XVI reciting the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

A priest displays a placard in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican as he follows Pope Benedict XVI reciting the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi talks to reporters during a news conference at the Vatican

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi talks to reporters during a news conference at the Vatican February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict has no specific illness and his decision to resign was taken with no outside pressure, the Vatican spokesman said on Monday after the pontiff's shock announcement that he would step down at the end of this month. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DMUU

Adelina Hidalgo holds a photograph of Pope Benedict as she kneels inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador

Adelina Hidalgo holds a photograph of Pope Benedict as she kneels inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on February 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfil the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step. REUTERS/Ulises Rodriguez (EL SALVADOR - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3DN6Y

A policeman hold the Osservatore Romano newspaper in Rome

A policeman hold the Osservatore Romano newspaper in Rome February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict shocked the world on Monday by saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to cope with his ministry, in an announcement that left his aides "incredulous" and will make him the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages. He will step down on February 28 and the Vatican expects a new Pope to be chosen by the end of March. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito (ITALY - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DN7U

Workers remove a painting of Pope Benedict XVI from the press conference room after the head of Spain's Catholic Church and President of the Bishops' Conference Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela addressed a news conference in Madrid

Workers remove a painting of Pope Benedict XVI from the press conference room after the head of Spain's Catholic Church and President of the Bishops' Conference Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela addressed a news conference in Madrid February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict shocked the world on Monday by saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to cope with his ministry, in an announcement that left his aides "incredulous" and will make him the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages. REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3DNAY

A woman, dressed as a cardinal and wearing a hog mask, holds a banner while yelling slogans against the Catholic clergy outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City

A woman, dressed as a cardinal and wearing a hog mask, holds a banner while yelling slogans against the Catholic clergy outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church including his closest advisers on Monday when he announced he would stand down in the first papal abdication in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to run the Church through a period of major crisis. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo (MEXICO - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS) - RTR3DNG3

US Vice President Joe Biden makes a remark on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI at the conclusion of a a roundtable discussion on gun control at Girard College in Philadelphia

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) makes a remark on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI next to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (R) and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay (L) at the conclusion of a roundtable discussion on gun control at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 11, 2013. Biden was joined by members of law enforcement and politicians to discuss gun law reforms. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW) - RTR3DNI7

A woman looks at religious articles at a shop in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City

A woman looks at religious articles at a shop in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church including his closest advisers on Monday when he announced he would stand down in the first papal abdication in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to run the Church through a period of major crisis. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido (MEXICO - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DNM0

A man walks inside the Cathedral of St. Paul of Abidjan

A man walks inside the Cathedral of St. Paul of Abidjan, February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon (IVORY COAST - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DNO9

A reveller dressed like the Pope holds a sign while joking with other revellers from the Sergeant Pepper's Carnival block in Rio de Janeiro

A reveller dressed like the Pope holds a sign while joking with other revellers from the Sergeant Pepper's Carnival block in Rio de Janeiro, February 11, 2013. REUTERS/Ana Carolina Fernandes (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION) - RTR3DNS6

A woman prays during a mass at a catholic church in Seoul

A woman prays during a mass at a catholic church in Seoul February 12, 2013. Pope Benedict left the Catholic world in shock after becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign his office, saying that failing strength had left him unable to lead the church through a period of relentless change and turmoil. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DNXU

A Catholic devotee prays at the St Mary's Cathedral in central Sydney

A Catholic devotee prays at the St Mary's Cathedral in central Sydney February 12, 2013. Pope Benedict left the Catholic world in shock after becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign his office, saying that failing strength had left him unable to lead the church through a period of relentless change and turmoil. The 85-year-old pontiff announced his abdication as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics in a speech delivered in Latin, the universal language of the church, to cardinals meeting in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz (AUSTRALIA - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DNYD

Cristo, religious leader who claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated, gestures on stage in Brasilia

Inri Cristo (R), a Brazilian religious leader who claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated, gestures on stage as a supporter looks on in Brasilia February 12, 2013. Cristo, who was born Alvaro Theiss in Indaial, Santa Catarina state, Brazil on March 22, 1948, said he is happy that Pope Benedict XVI resigned because he is the 'real son of god.' REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino (BRAZIL - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3DPH1