Cardinal Seán Brady, archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland, spoke of "six decades of tireless service."

He said that reaching this milestone is "a marvelous achievement," and, he added, "I pray God will continue to bless His Holiness with many more years of happiness and fulfillment, as he continues to lead and guide our Church."

The Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference after its June general meeting, also sent best wishes.

"Pope Benedict has led the Church with faith and humility and has reached out to many people," they wrote. "In his pilgrimages he has spoken the truth with love and presented the gospel of Christ and the teaching of the Church in an engaging way to audiences of all ages."

US Bishops: NY Is Abandoning the Common Good

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 28, 2011 ( “Abandonment of the common good” is how Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, described the New York State Legislature’s decision to pass the Marriage Equality Act.