President Barack Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday.
CLEVELAND - There are more than 900,000 catholics in the Diocese of Cleveland. And Monday morning, many were shocked to learn that the leader of the Catholic Church is stepping down.
In churches across the diocese on Monday, there were prayers for Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Richard Lennon said that the pope resigning is an historic event and an action motivated by his love for the church.
Fr. Mark Ott studied in Rome for six years. He spoke to Pope Benedict briefly last year.
"He is happy to see everyone and greets you with a simple handshake and wants to hear from you," said Ott.
Pope Benedict was the first pope to take to Twitter to try and get his message out, especially to the young people. Kevin Klonowski is studying to be a priest and saw the pope at World Youth Day a few years ago.
"I think Pope Benedict XVI has influenced the lives of millions of young people," said Klonowski.
The pope influenced Tim Roth's decision to become a priest.
"He influenced me, who I want to be as a man and a priest," said Roth.
Pope Francis' pared down papal wardrobe of sensible black shoes and a white cassock so thin you can see his black trousers.
New surveys commissioned by the Vatican show that the vast majority of Catholics in Germany and Switzerland reject church teaching on contraception, sexual morality, gay unions and divorce, findings remarkable both in their similarity and in the fact that they were even publicized.
Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.
A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.
Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned Feb. 28 and met with successor Pope Francis.
Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.
Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon and other area leaders react to the election of Pope Francis I.
Latin Americans are reacting with joy to news of the first pope from the hemisphere, bursting into tears and cheers.
Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.