In a surprise announcement, Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday that he's stepping down at the end of the month.
Pope Benedict has been visibly weakened and frail the last few months, but his announcement was a shock to everyone, even at the Vatican.
The 85-year-old Pontiff says he no longer has the strength to do the job, becoming the first pope to resign in 600 years.
Pope Benedict became head of the Catholic church in 2005, succeeding Pope John Paul II.
Catholics in the Central Valley are shocked by the pope's announcement.
The Diocese of Fresno has also expressed its thoughts on this transition and while everyone was surprised, many say they support his decision.
Despite his public censure, Cardinal Roger Mahony says he's taking part in the search for a new pope. He was relieved of all public duties last week after thousands of documents related to the child sex abuse scandal surfaced.
Mahony says he looks forward to traveling to Rome to participate in the conclave that will choose the next pope.
In a statement, Cardinal Mahony said, "I look forward to traveling to Rome soon to help thank Pope Benedict XVI for his gifted service to the church, and to participate in the conclave to elect his successor.