Washington D.C., Feb 28, 2013 / 17:02 pm
American Catholic political officials and commentators have solemnly expressed their appreciation and prayers for Pope Benedict XVI as his resignation goes into effect.
"The United States sends its best wishes to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves the Vatican after years of service and dedication to God, the Catholic Church, and world peace," said newly-instated U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
In a statement released on the eve of the Holy Father's retirement, Kerry added that he anticipates further cooperation with the Holy See.
"As the papal conclave assembles, I look forward to continuing our important relationship with the Vatican and working with the new pope to foster dialogue and promote human rights and human dignity throughout the world," he said.