Palace sad over Pope's resignation-A A +A
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- Malacañang joined the Catholic world in expressing regret over the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
In a statement issued late Monday, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hoped that the Pope may find "peace and contentment" upon his resignation on February 28.
The 85-year-old Pope will resign from his duties as head of the Catholic Church on February 28 due to ill health.
"Not only the Catholic world, but all peoples and nations of goodwill are filled with great regret as news comes of Pope Benedict XVI announcing he intends to relinquish the Petrine Ministry on February 28 of this year," Lacierda said.
"At this time, when the Pope has announced the physical challenge he faces makes it difficult to continue bearing the burdens of his office, we join the Catholic world and all whose lives he has touched, in prayer and sympathy. May he find respite from his physical challenges, and peace and contentment in the seclusion of retirement," he added.
The German-born Pope revealed his historic decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday (Manila time) making him the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.
The Palace official praised the Pope for showing humility by resignation describing his move as "act of supreme faith."
"Pope Benedict XVI's decision, historic as it is, is in keeping with humility and pastoral approach he has placed at the core of his service as Pope. It is also an act of supreme faith in the institution he has headed, and the faith he has proclaimed to the world. We pause in human sympathy with Pope Benedict XVI in his acknowledgement of the great physical burden of his office," he said.
Lacierda recalled the "prayers and comforting words" the Pope has dedicated to Filipinos during times of calamities.
"We recall, in particular, with fond gratitude, the many prayers and comforting words Pope Benedict XVI has dedicated to Filipinos in times of calamity and challenge, and his words of encouragement and witness in the many Catholic events that have brought Catholics together, such as the recent canonization of San Pedro Calungsod," he said.
The conclave of cardinals is expected to be held in March within 15 or 20 days of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
A new pope is expected to be elected before Easter Sunday on March 31.
"We hope and pray the Catholic Church and the Holy See will emerge from the coming period of the Sede Vacante, the conclave to come, with the election of a new Pope prepared to take up the great burdens and expectations of the Catholic faithful worldwide," said Lacierda.
For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay also expressed sadness Tuesday over the decision of the Pope to give up the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church after nearly eight years in power.
Speaking to reporters in Cebu City, Binay said the Pope only showed his humility by knowing his physical limits.
"Tanggap niya na dahil sa kanyang physical condition, hindi siya makakapagtrabaho ng ine-expect ng kanyang mga pinamumunuan (He accepts that he can no longer perform his functions as head of the Catholic Church due to his physical condition). I think he's really a concrete example of, iyong, as humble as he has been," he said.
The Pope cited frail health as reason for quitting the job of leading 1.2 billion Catholics, the only pontiff to do so in 600 years.
"Filipinos have a special place in their hearts for His Holiness who offered us his prayers and succor during the calamities that afflicted thousands of Filipinos. He lifted our spirits with the elevation of Cardinal Luis Tagle and the canonization for San Pedro Calungsod. Let us pray for his recovery," said Binay. (Jill Beltran/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)