BEND, Ore. -

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI took on 21st century technology, sending out his first tweet. Now, he's doing something no Pope has done since the Middle Ages -- step down.

The pope was mum about the big decision Monday on Twitter, But his decision to resign has people talking all over the world.

Ailing health is said to be the reason behind the 85-year-old's shocking decision. Benedict's the first pope to step down from his duties in nearly 600 years.

"I was shocked but not surprised," Bishop Liam Cary, bishop of the Bend-based Diocese of Baker, said Monday.

The bishop had been taking in the news all day since he heard it after a prayer in Pendleton.

"My first reaction, once it sunk in, was sadness," Cary said. "Because I have a great affection for him."

Cary said he has met the pope twice.

 "What remains clearest from those encounters is his eyes When you're right next to him, his eyes are penetrating, just penetrating, and you feel like he's looking right into your heart," the bishop said.

The College of Cardinals will choose the Pope's successor sometime after his last day on Feb. 28.