New Pope appointed

The latest following the appointment of Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who came to the Midlands in 2010.

Latest ITV News reports

Senior Derbyshire church leader welcomes new Pope appointment

A senior church leader in Derby has welcomed the appointment of the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina, who has taken the name Pope Francis, has been elected the 266th pontiff. He gave his first blessing from the Vatican balcony to thousands yesterday.

Father Tim O'Sullivan from St Mary's Church says he was moved by the Pope's address and looks forward to his papacy.

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Pope thanks faithful for 'love and prayers'

Pope Benedict XVI thanked the faithful for their "love and prayers" at his first public appearance since announcing his resignation, telling them he is stepping down for "the good of the Church".

"Continue to pray for me, for the Church and for the future Pope," he said at the start of his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI addresses the faithful at his weekly general audience.
Pope Benedict XVI addresses the faithful at his weekly general audience. Credit: Reuters TV

The Pope was interrupted several times by rapturous applause from the 8,000-strong crowd who gathered to watch.

Pope Benedict XVI said he was "well aware of the gravity of such an act" but was also "aware of not being able to carry out my [papal] ministry with the physical and spiritual force that it requires".

Echoing the remarks he made to stunned cardinals when announcing his decision to resign on Monday, the Pope said, "I took this decision in full freedom for the good of the Church after praying for a long time and examining by conscience before God".

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'Singing for the Pope was the best day of my life'

A student from Birmingham's Bishop Challoner Catholic College has told ITV News Central that singing for the Pope was the best day of her life.

Cory Smith, a Year-13 sixth former, sang for the Pope in Cofton Park, Birmingham, when he visited in September 2010.

The event attracted around 55,000 people.

The one day visit saw the beautification of Cardinal John Henry Newman

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Miliband: Pope's resignation decision 'a brave one'

Many people will remember his historic visit to the UK in 2010 - which was a very special moment for many, especially Catholics, across the country.

His decision to stand down is a brave one and we know he will not have reached it lightly.

The choice of a successor is clearly an important one for the Catholic Church.

Our thoughts are with those who must make such a critical decision on behalf of millions around the world.

– Labour leader Ed Miliband
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