Cardinal describes moment of Pope's shock resignation

Cardinal Arinze has described being in the room when Pope Benedict XVI made his shock resignation, yesterday. He said the Cardinals were all very surprised. He told the Catholic News Service:

"He said, please sit down, I have something to say, important for the Church. So it was for us, a surprise, like thunder that gives no notice it is coming. As he went on, I began to fear what was coming. There was silent. We all looked at each other, in silence and surprise. "

Cardinal Francis Arinze is among the favourites to replace Benedict.

More: The runners and riders to replace Pope Benedict.

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Pope thankful for 'prayers'

The Pope has made his first appearance at St Peter's Square window since his resignation announcement and thanked the faithful for their "prayers and support."