Obama releases statement on Pope Benedict

 From the White House: 

On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years.   The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.

Other reaction:

“I am sure that this decision has been inspired by the will to serve the Church to the end and to make sure that it will be guided steadfastly in the future as well.  I will treasure the touching memory of the personal and close dialogue with which the Holy Father has consented to accompany my commitment with the government.” — Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

“If the Pope himself, after thorough reflection, has come to the conclusion that he does not have the strength any more to carry out his duties, then this has my utmost respect. He is and remains one of the most significant religious thinkers of our time.” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I am sure that many will recognise it to be a decision of great courage and characteristic clarity of mind and action. I salute his courage and his decision.” — Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols.

“I think he deserves a lot of credit for advancing inter-religious links the world over between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During his period there were the best relations ever between the Church and the chief rabbinate and we hope that this trend will continue.” — Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger’s spokesman

“With his charisma and his tireless work for the good of the Church, the Pope from Bavaria has inspired people all over the world.” — Minister-President of Bavaria Horst Seehofer


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