Responding to a question about the retirement of the pope, U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon thanked the pope for his "profound commitment ... to interfaith dialogue."
"The Secretary-General has learnt of the decision of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to resign on 28 February 2013. Recalling the Pope's visit to the United Nations Headquarters in April 2008, the Secretary-General expresses his appreciation for the profound commitment of Pope Benedict to interfaith dialogue and to addressing such global challenges as the alleviation of poverty and hunger, as well as the promotion of human rights and peace. He hopes that the wisdom demonstrated during his Pontificate may stand as a legacy on which to build further dialogue and tolerance," according to a read-out provided by the U.N. of Ban Ki-moon's answer to the question.
The pope announced his intention today to step down at the end of this month.