Politicians and church officials react to Pope Benedict's resignation
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was not expected by politicians, and officials in the Catholic Church. The surprise is drawing reactions from several public figures, and archdiocese.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan:
"The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter."
Archbishop Jerome Listecki:
“I have feelings of both great joy and great sadness as I learn of the Holy Father's resignation announcement today, effective February 28, 2013.
President Barack Obama:
"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."
"Pope Benedict, who announced today he will resign on February 28, will leave his tenure as Pope without having made the one, simple moral and executive decision that would have, in a single stroke of his pen, protected potentially millions of children from harm, brought justice to hundreds of thousands of victims, and finally turned the church on a path towards true recovery and reform: worldwide zero tolerance of child sex abuse by priests.
Because he never issued this decree, Benedict leaves office not only with countless children at risk around the world but scores of Cardinals and bishops in leadership positions who are actively covering up child sex abuse."