Pinoys thank Pope for Pedro, deep humility-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), lay leaders and clergymen bade farewell to Pope Benedict XVI, who steps down from office today.
Some conveyed wishes for his good health, while some expressed admiration for his humility, in admitting he can no longer lead the church. Many conveyed their gratitude for his many years of service.
The Uytingchua clan put up a poster at the Conchita Bldg. along Osmeña Blvd., showing a picture of the Pope and the words “Daghang Salamat (Thank you very much).”
“Holy Father, thank you very much for shepherding the Church with wisdom and great zeal, making us experience the presence of God in our midst even during these troubled times,” said CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma in a letter addressed to the outgoing pontiff.
“We thank Your Holiness, in particular, for canonizing Saint Pedro Calungsod as our model and intercessor,” he added.
Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation as Bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter two weeks ago, during a consistory of the Roman Curia.
It was announced that after he steps down, he will be called His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus or Roman Pontiff Emeritus.
“We, the people of God in the Philippines, find it difficult to describe how we felt when you announced Your Holiness’ resignation as our beloved Supreme Pontiff. Many of us shed tears,” said Archbishop Palma in his letter.
“But we know that it is because of Your Holiness’ great love for the Church that, after a long period of discernment, you made that decision and that it is all for the good of Christ’s faithful,” he added.
“Keep the Philippines in your prayers,” is the message of Cebu Catholic Charismatic Communities coordinator Fe Barino wishes to convey.
“Thank you for your honesty. Not everyone in power is willing to give it up,” said Leny Occasiones, Gabriela-Cebu chapter coordinator and Catholics for RH (Reproductive Health) member.
“We hope you can ensure that your successor is somebody who is ready to embrace change and respond to the needs and aspirations of women and LGBTs, not just that of men,” she added. LGBT refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals.
The youth, meanwhile, expressed gratitude for the spiritual guidance and the time the Pope spent on World Youth Day gatherings.
“We treasure it as one of our fondest memories. Thank you for reminding us that we can pursue our dreams, live a beautiful and successful life, for as long as Jesus is in the center of it,” said Eilleen Esteban, CBCP’s Youth Pinoy coordinator.
“Thank you for the deep wisdom of your simple messages that goes straight to our hearts. This reminds us how Jesus’ simplicity talks to everyone despite His being God.
Thank you for all your might to be strong for our Church. We love you so much! We are praying for the life that you chose now,” she added.
A Cebu City-based working mother of two is asking for prayers as she also pledged to pray for the resigned Pope.
“Your Holiness, I am saddened by your decision and cannot comprehend exactly why. (It) felt like you have given up on us but I know it was not an easy decision,” said Manette Bermudo.
“Thank you for caring for us. We will surely miss you,” she added.
A Good Shepherd nun, Sr. Maria Fe Mendoza, has a simple message: “I will keep you in my heart and in my prayers.”
For the Cebuano clergy, they are grateful to the Pope’s scholarly work. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, he crafted many Church documents, letters and theological dissertations.
“I feel very privileged that I am able to live during the reign of one of the most brilliant theologians and dedicated popes in the history of the Church,” said Fr. Mhar Balili, Archbishop Palma’s secretary.
“Though your reign as pope ends, your legacy especially through your writings will continue to guide and influence your successor and the future of the Church. Your resignation shows your utmost humility and deep love for the Church. You show us the true meaning of detachment,” he added.
In an earlier interview, Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was asked what would happen to the head of the Catholic church once he steps down from office.
“He (Pope Benedict XVI) will live in a private house provided by the Vatican. He will continue to serve the Church through prayers,” said the prelate.
The pontiff would no longer make public appearances after his resignation takes effect at 8 tonight in Italy, around 3 a.m. in the Philippines.
“He will disappear, that is how it is,” said Cardinal Vidal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 28, 2013.