Prelate: Pope’s resignation a good example-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
THE decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign is a good example for political leaders to adhere, a prelate said.
Msgr. Elmer Abacahin, parish priest of Holy Cross in Alubijid, Misamis Oriental and president of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC), said the Pope’s decision is a “good point of a good leader” who realized his capabilities, the physical and mental strength in leading the Catholic Church.
“Though his decision to resign shocked the whole Christian world, nevertheless, we are grateful for his great contribution to the Church and it is just right for us to respect his decision,” Abacahin said.
The 85-year-old German-born Pope made the announcement in Latin on Monday night before the cardinals. Latin is the universal language of the Church.
"Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom, I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter. As from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours (1900 GMT) the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is," Pope Benedict’s message read.
Abacahin said his resignation is for the common good of the Church that politicians and government officials should consider.
“Some still hold on to power even if they already find it difficult to walk,” he said.
The resignation marks the first time in nearly 600 years that the head of the Catholic Church resigned, with the last one being Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was among the many church officials who reacted with stunned surprise Monday at the news of the Pope’s resignation.
In a statement released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) on Tuesday, Tagle said just like others, he too was clueless that a change is forthcoming in the leadership of the Church.
"Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the ministry as Bishop of Rome on February 11, 2013 came as a surprise," said Tagle.
He said he immediately felt sad of the decision knowing the "selfless guidance" the Pope had shown in the past eight years.
"The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell," said Tagle, as he called on the faithful to pray for the Pope "especially as he devotes the coming years at the service of the Church through a life of prayer."
It was Pope Benedict XVI who appointed Tagle as the newest Filipino cardinal in late 2012.
Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said in a report that Pope Benedict XVI is expected to go into isolation after his resignation so as not to influence the decision of the cardinals to elect his successor in a secret conclave.
Lombardi said a new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics could be elected on March 24 in time for Palm Sunday and will take over a week after Easter.
According to report, it is not yet clear if Benedict will have a public life after his resignation.
However, Lombardi said the pope will be going into the papal summer residence in the south of Rome and then move into a cloistered convent inside the Vatican walls.
Cardinals from around the world will then begin arriving in Rome in March and after preliminary meetings, lock themselves in a secret conclave and elect the new pope from among themselves in votes in the Sistine Chapel.
Pope Benedict XVI was elected into papacy on April 19, 2005. He was known as "God's Rottweiler" for his stern stand on theological issues. (With reports from Jill Beltran/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 13, 2013.