Cardinals, Heads of State Applaud Pontiff's 'Courageous Decision'By Junno De Jesús Arocho Esteves
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales stated that today's announcement has "shocked and surprised everyone." However, Archbishop Nichols said that on reflection that the Holy Father's decision will be recognized as one of "great courage and characteristic clarity of mind and action."
"The Holy Father recognizes the challenges facing the Church and that 'strength of mind and body are necessary' for his tasks of governing the Church and proclaiming the Gospel," Archbishop Nichols stated in a communique released today.
"I salute his courage and his decision."