"I think like everyone else, very surprised, very stunned on the announcement. It was a total surprise," said Burbidge.
But the bishop said he understood.
"This is a very exceptional moment with the Holy Father's advanced age. He's given it everything he has. Given it everything he has and will continue to be a beautiful inspire to all of us as he will devote his life now to prayer," said Burbidge.
The faithful around the Triangle said Benedict has been an effective leader.
"I love Pope Benedict XVI. He's a good, holy man and he guided our church through a lot of turbulence and I know the Holy Spirit is going to guide us," offered Heather Martin of Clayton. "I understand. My husband's father's 85 and I know how hard it is when you're 85 to keep doing so much. There's so much required of the pope."