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READ: President Obama Releases Brief Statement on Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation

Here is a statement from President Obama, released by the White House, on the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

"On behalf

of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years. The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's successor."

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