The Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols told ITV News he had no "inkling" the pontiff would announce his resignation and said Pope Benedict XVI would be remembered "as one of the great teaching Popes."
He added: "It is a job for life, and what he has taught us is that even this job can be laid down for the right reason."
So, we're all shocked at the resignation of the Pope, but what happens next?
Pope Benedict XVI has made the announcement that he will resign as the head of the Roman Catholic Church due to his "advanced age."
Who will follow in Pope Benedict's footsteps? Is it time for an African pope?