Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, statement:
The news of our Holy Father’s decision to relinquish the office of the papacy is one which has surprised and saddened us all today.
Pope Benedict’s pontificate has been an astonishing moment in the life of the Church. He has exercised his pontificate with gentle wisdom and deep humility and will be especially remembered for his clear and profound teaching. Those of us in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham have particular reason to thank God for his pontificate, as he opened the way for Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through his Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. He will forever hold a place in the hearts of those of us to whom he has been, in a particular way, a shepherd and Father.
We pray now for him and for the whole Church. We entrust the College of Cardinals to the intercession of the Mother of God, Our Lady of Walsingham, as they exercise their sacred duty to elect his successor.
From Fr Ian Hellyer, Pastor of the Buckfast Ordinariate Mission:
As Mgr Newton, our Ordinary, said above, the news of Pope Benedict's resignation has saddened us but in no way diminishes our esteem, support and affection for Pope Benedict. Those of us who needed to find the courage to enter the Ordinariate after Anglicanorum Coetibus' publication found much inspiration to be courageous in the example and teaching of Pope Benedict. His vision for Christian Unity as a crucial aspect of the Evangelisation of Europe has stirred our hearts, and while the task might seem enormous he has constantly kindled hope in our hearts especially through his teaching. We therefore have full confidence in his brave decision to resign, believing it to be God's will for the Church, and we, with all Catholics around the world, unite in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the Cardinals who will discern God's Will in this matter. We also beseech Our Lady of Walsingham (England's Nazareth) herself over-shadowed by the Holy Spirit to intercede for our Cardinals. We have every confidence in them.
Finally while the media will no doubt talk about the politics of the 'election' we should remember that for us as Catholics it is not a political event. To reduce the Church to "progressive" and "conservative" elements is gravely against the will of our Saviour for the Church. We believe in the Holy Spirit's action in the Church and can thus have confidence that whoever is chosen will have the necessary charisms for our time, and most especially the charism that the successor of Peter alone has. Praised be to Jesus Christ our Saviour for the gift of the Successors of St Peter.
[A good thanksgiving article in the Catholic Herald here.]