Anglican leader learned of Pope's decision "with heavy heart"

LONDON Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:27pm IST

Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, waves as stands on the steps with his wife Caroline after a ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral in central London February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, waves as stands on the steps with his wife Caroline after a ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral in central London February 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

LONDON (Reuters) - The spiritual head of the world's Anglicans said it was with a "heavy heart" that he learned of Pope Benedict's decision on Monday to step down as pontiff, adding he fully sympathised with the decision.

"It was with a heavy heart but complete understanding that we learned this morning of Pope Benedict's declaration of his decision to lay down the burden of ministry as Bishop of Rome, an office which he has held with great dignity, insight and courage," said Archbishop of Canterbury c, leader of the global 80-million-strong Anglican Communion.

Welby, who only officially took over his role last week after his predecessor Rowan Williams resigned after a decade in the job, said he gave thanks to God for Benedict's life "utterly dedicated, in word and deed, in prayer and in costly service, to following Christ."

"We pray that God will bless him profoundly in retirement with health and peace of mind and heart, and we entrust to the Holy Spirit those who have a responsibility to elect his successor," Welby said in a statement.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ebola in U.S.

Ebola in U.S.

Traveler from Liberia is first Ebola patient diagnosed in U.S  Full Article 

Fighting IS

Fighting IS

Kurds seize Iraq/Syria border post; Sunni tribe joins fight against Islamic State  Full Article 

Indonesia Politics

Indonesia Politics

President manages hopes as hostile parliament convenes  Full Article 

Security Breach

Security Breach

U.S. lawmakers rebuke Secret Service over White House breach  Full Article 

Palestinian Occupation

Palestinian Occupation

Jewish settlers occupy Palestinian homes in Old City's shadow  Full Article 

Ebola Chronology

Ebola Chronology

Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response  Full Article 

Blurring Lines

Blurring Lines

In al Qaeda attack, lines between Pakistan military, militants blur  Full Article 

Rohingya Plan

Rohingya Plan

Myanmar confirms controversial Rohingya plan at United Nations  Full Article 

U.S.-Afghan Pact

U.S.-Afghan Pact

U.S. signs pact to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2014  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage