“I am shocked by this unexpected news,” noted Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who told the press in Milan that there were no warning signs regarding this decision.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano praised the extraordinaire courage and generosity showed by Benedict XVI after announcing his resignation due to a lack of strength to continue in his position.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her respect over the tough decision made by Benedict XVI, describing him as one of the most important theologians of our times. British Premier David Cameron said millions of people will miss the pope as a spiritual leader since he worked tirelessly to strengthen UK-Vatican links.
At the same time, religious authorities from all over the world were left in a profound state of shock by the resignation of the Pope, said Italy’s Il Giornale newspaper.
UK BBC referred to the event as a shocking resignation, while websites for U.S. media such as CNN, Washington Post, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal stressed the Pope’s advanced age.