Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla. praised Pope Benedict XVI this morning in a statement reacting to the news that he would resign at the end of the month.

“Today Pope Benedict XVI displayed the qualities of an excellent leader and a true man of God by putting the interests of the Vatican and the Catholic Church over his own papacy,” Rubio said. “Since becoming Pope in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI has served the Church honorably, particularly through his work promoting charity across the globe.”

As a Catholic, Rubio added that he was looking forward to the selection of the new Pope.

“I also look with optimism toward the future of the Catholic Church as it prepares to welcome a new leader and as it continues to spread God’s message of faith, hope and love to all the corners of the world.”