'This must have been a very difficult decision' - Former Welsh Secretary on Pope's resignation

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.

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Pope's shock resignation

Pope Benedict XVI is to step down, the Vatican has confirmed.