U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are extending "appreciation and prayers" to Pope Benedict after news of his pending resignation.
"On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI," President Obama said in a statement.
"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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