Pope's resignation surprises church officials, local leaders-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
CHURCH leaders and local government officials expressed surprise over the resignation of Supreme Catholic Church leader Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral, said he was surprised upon knowing the Pope's resignation and saddened him in the human level.
"Another level is based on our faith that brings us to the reality that, no matter what happened, the church remains stable and strong as ever because it is founded by the Lord Jesus Christ who has said, 'I will be with you 'til the end of time.' Bishops and popes come and go but the reign of God remains forever," he said.
Pasquin added that all active cardinals are eligible to vote for the Pope and are also eligible to be elected as Pope.
When asked for his comment about the inclusion of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila among the cardinals named as possible replacement of Pope Benedict, Pasquin said: "Anyone is eligible but the outcome of the process of election remains in the hands of the Holy Spirit."
Cardinal Tagle is the only remaining active Cardinal in the Philippines. Other Filipino Cardinals who are already retired are Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu.
Cardinal Tagle is the only Filipino cardinal that would join the conclave in Vatican that will vote for the new Pope.
Meanwhile, Third District Rep. Albee Benitez for his part said that he respects and admires the Pope's decision.
Fourth District Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer, on the other hand, said that he was also surprised to read about the Pope's resignation.
"Let's pray for the new Pope to be elected soon," he said.
On the part of Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., he said, "I am saddened by the Pope's resignation. I and my family join the faithful in their reflection as we await the announcement of the next leader of the Catholic world. We pray for the pope and the Roman Catholic leaders."
Pope Benedict said he would step down on February 28, which will make him the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
"I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the 85-year old pope said.
The conclave of cardinals is expected to be held in March within 15 or 20 days of the resignation and a new pope elected before Easter Sunday on March 31.
The pope was elected in 2005 at a time when the Vatican was being rocked by multiple scandals over child abuse committed by priests.
Contenders to be his successor include Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican's office for bishops. (TDE)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 13, 2013.