WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding the decision announced today by Pope Benedict XVI:

"The prayers and gratitude of American Catholics are with Pope Benedict XVI today.  The Holy Father's decision displays extraordinary humility and love for the Church, two things that have been the hallmarks of his service.  Americans were inspired by his visit to the United States in 2008, and by his quiet, steady leadership of the Church in uncertain times.  People of all nations have been blessed by the sacrifices he has made to sow the seeds of hope, justice, and compassion throughout the world in the name of Our Lord and Savior."