"In the name of the Catholic Bishops of the United States," the cardinal stated, "I would like to offer congratulations to President Barack Obama on his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize."

The Nobel Committee announced Obama's win Friday.

Cardinal George continued: "As he has graciously said, much of the work of realizing a more peaceful and just world for all persons and nations remains to be done; but the prize was given because as President of the United States he has already changed the international conversation.

"In our own country, the remarkable and historic achievement of his election has changed the relationships between men and women of all races. The rich diversity of United States society is now more surely anchored in a national unity that is better able to foster the peace we all are challenged to pursue. Our prayer is that almighty God will bless the president and his family."