Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down Thursday, retiring from his position in the Catholic Church.
"Probably because of his age, his ailments and health but he makes the judgment about that," Rector St. Joseph's Cathedral Monsignor James Campbell
Monsignor James Campbell Rector of St. Joseph's Cathedral in Buffalo says this move is very unique, not being done for centuries.
"It's extremely out of the ordinary, violating a rules of 700 of year or better to elect someone to replace a man who is retiring," Monsignor Campbell said.
Monsignor Campbell said this change does have some church leaders concerned about what is to come for the Catholic Church.
"There is a certain uncertainty about it because we replace a pope that died in office. They chose their own people to help them and there are offices to be filled so that the uncertainty," Monsignor Campbell said.
First things first, he said this change starts an important and complicated process including the Conclave or meeting of leaders to vote who is best for the job.
"Cardinals are electors of the pope. Anyone under 80 can participate. Once they are over 80 they don't have a voice. There is nothing to it except a constant repetition of ballots," Monsignor Campbell said.
The cardinals can cast their ballots as many times as it takes for one person to get the most votes, then they will become Pope. Monsignor Campbell said the chosen person must have certain characteristics.
"You've got to have charisma and you have to be a leader, offering leadership and you have to have certain personality," Monsignor Campbell said.
Campbell said no one knows how long this process will take but it will start in the next few days when all of the Cardinals arrive in Rome.