A NUMBER of Dubbo residents have strongly backed Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down as the head of the Catholic Church.
The 85-year-old Roman pontiff made the surprise move late Monday night citing his deteriorating health and age.
"I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the Pope said in a statement.
The Daily Liberal hit the streets asking residents what they thought of the surprise move and whether they supported the Pope's decision to step down.
Jaiden Godson said she never imagined the Pope would have resigned.
"It was completely unexpected," she said.
Miss Godson said his ailing health and age were not the best.
"His decision to step down gives room for someone else to do things he couldn't do," she said.
As a practicing Catholic, she praised his efforts as the head of the Catholic Church.
"I think he's done his part, he's done a lot of good things for others and now he needs to devote time to himself," she said.
Michael McNaboe said he was not really surprised by the move.
"If anyone else is old and has deteriorating health they have the right to stop work and the Pope is no different," he said.
"I think he did the right thing."
Mark Winter said the Pope's old age played a key part in his resignation.
"I think it's pretty fair considering his ailing health," he said.
"At 85, he's right to go."
Rosalind Antioch said she was overwhelmed when she heard the Pope had decided to step down.
"Popes never resign," she said.
"I think it's a good move. It is a huge role for someone who's in their 80s to do.
"Good on him for breaking tradition and doing what's best for him."
Sarah Wells praised the pontiff for taking care of his health.
"I'm excited he is standing down," she said.
"Any other person in a job would've resigned because of his health. I think it's important for him to be selfish and think of himself."