Former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy is a Papal Knight of Saint Gregory, an honour bestowed on him by the previous Pope John Paul II. He's just issued this statement:
I was surprised to hear of Pope Benedict’s resignation today. Pope Benedict XVI is a formidable theologian and leader and I am confident that he has come to this decision after much consideration.
This must have been a very difficult decision for the Pope and is unprecedented in modern times. Pope Benedict XVI is a man of huge spirituality and deep faith, and all Christians have respected his stand on moral issues. I pray that the church will find a worthy successor.