The news that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to resign was received by the members of ecclesial movements and new communities with feelings that included gratitude for all that he has taught them and for the fatherly concern that he has shown them during the almost eight years of his pontificate.
Many official websites of associations and movements recognised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity have published messages of gratitude and closeness to the Holy Father as he concludes his petrine ministry.
For example, Maria Voce, president of the Focolare movement, wrote: Your Holiness, we would like you to know that we are with you in deep ongoing prayer for this new stage opening up in your life and in that of the Church. We love you and will do so always".
The Sant'Egidio Community said in an official notice on their website that they are "close to Pope Benedict XVI with filial affection". They go on to speak of "gratitude for the love for God's Word, the special fondness for the poor, the teaching with authority and the meekness that characterised the years of this pontificate".
Representatives of ecclesial movements and new communities looked on the pope's action in the light of faith. For example, Don Julián Carrón, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, said that "the pope's action is a strong call to renounce all human security and to trust only in the strength of the Holy Spirit".
Laurent Landete, moderator of the Emmanuel Community, also sees Pope Benedict's choice in a spiritual way: "it shows the desire not to appropriate one's mission, and this will benefit the Church in the future".
Gratitude is the sentiment that was expressed in many letters, communications and videos published on websites. A representative example of this attitude can be seen in the words of Mother Elvira of the Comunità del Cenacolo. She wrote: "Dear Holy Father, allow us to unite our simple voices with the choir of voices in the Church and the world after your surprising announcement yesterday. We, with our poor but simple hearts, want to be close to your fatherly heart at this time to simple say a big THANK YOU for all that you have given us over these past years, and to confirm that WE LOVE YOU, and even more at this time".