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Should the Pope Continue as Leader of the Catholic Church?

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For the first time since his papacy, Pope John Paul didn't celebrate Ash Wednesday, as he's recovering from the flu.

"The Pope is the figure head of Catholics, even though he's not able to preside over the ceremony. I don't think it takes anything away from the significance in within the church," says Adrian Denvir, parishioner at St. Thomas Catholic Church.

His poor health has many Catholics around the globe and here at home asking if its time for him to step down. But parishioners we spoke to at St. Thomas recognize the pontiff's failing health but believe he should stay.

Parishoner, Dianna Johnson says, "I think he will stay as long as he can and do God's work. I don't think he'll step down until God tells him its time to step down."

Katie Patrick adds, "I think he will know when the time is right if it should come before he passes on."

Father Dean Wilhelm says the decision of whether the Pope should step down is not an easy one.

"He's been such a major figure in world religion and world politics; the whole world has seen for 25 years or more than that; its not an easy decision. Regardless what history has been, whether there had been no popes that have ever done this or 50 popes that have done this; it can't be an easy decision," says Father Dean.

Dean says the Pontiff's appointment is for life. The Vatican says the Pope would still be able to run the church even if he reached the point where he couldn't speak.

"I think he's a wonderful example not only for Catholics but for other people too," says Katie Patrick.

The last time a pope willingly resigned was in the 13th century..