Here is the statement released Monday by the cardinal vicar of Rome, Agostino Vallini, in the wake of the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation as Bishop of Rome.
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Beloved priests and faithful of Rome,
This morning during the ordinary public consistory for some canonizations, our beloved Bishop, Pope Benedict XVI, announced his decision to resign from the ministry of Successor of Peter.
The news was received by those cardinals of us who were present with profound emotion and astonishment. Many sentiments crowd my mind and my heart. First of all, we receive with faith the will of the Holy Father which, as he has told us, matured in him in prayer and stemmed from his love of Christ and of the Church and of his fear of not being able to continue to serve as he desired.
To Pope Benedict XVI, who spent himself with all his strength for the Church with exemplary dedication and has guided our dioceses with paternal solicitude – we still have in our heart his recent visit last Friday to the Roman Seminary and the lectio divina held with the seminarians on the occasion of the feast of the Madonna of Confidence — we express from now on our great affection for the many gifts we have received from him: the testimony of a life entirely given to Christ and to the Church, his passion for the proclamation of the Gospel, his love for man and for his dignity, the care of the poor that he has always defended and helped.
Together with the Vice-Director and Auxiliary Bishops, at this moment, I wish to assure the Holy Father of our filial affection and the prayer of the whole diocesan community, may the Lord grant him the serenity and joy to see the fruits of his ministry and long years to serve the Holy Church of God in prayer.
Beloved, may the certainty that Christ the Good Shepherd continues to guide his people support us in the days ahead.
Cardinal AGOSTINO VALLINI
February 11, 2013[Translation by ZENIT]