Pope Benedict XVI resignation: 'A well-kept secret'
11 February 2013 Last updated at 15:42 GMT
Pope Benedict XVI's decision to stand down was both a "well-kept secret" and "courageous gesture", Bishop John Arnold from the Archdiocese of Westminster in London has said.
Members of the Catholic Church from around the world have been giving their response to the unexpected development - the first papal resignation in nearly 600 years.
The Vatican says it expects a new Pope to be elected before Easter.