Christians Urged To Stand Firm In Faith

The Apostolic Administrator in the Catholic Diocese of Malakal has asked Christians and the people of goodwill not to get discouraged over the resignation of the head of Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI.

Christians Urged To Stand Firm In Faith
Roko Taban Musa, the Head of Malakal Catholic Diocese addressing the church members. [Ariik Atekdit]

By Ariik Atekdit

MALAKAL, 5 February 2013 [Gurtong] -Monsignor Roko Taban Musa said: “People should not be feeling sad. They should not be depressed because of the resignation of Benedict XVI from the chair of St. Peter.”

Pope Benedict XVI’s resigned earlier and left on 28th giving room for a search for a new pope and this has surprised many followers as it is rare for a pope to resign his position in the Catholic Church. The last Pope to resign was 600 years ago in 1415 AD.

“Many years have passed without the people of God seeing the Bishop of Rome resigning from his duty. The last Pope to resign was Gregory XII,” said Roko.

On February 11 Pope Benedict XVI told the College of Cardinals that he resigned due to his deteriorating health against the responsibilities upon him on the Chair of St Peter.

“In order to steer the ship of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” Pope wrote in his resignation letter.

Monsignor Musa said Catholic Church will elect a new Pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

“The hope remains that we will have our new Pope among the 130 cardinals who are now in Rome. In Africa we have five cardinals including our son Gabriel Cardinal Wako,” he said.

Some opinions in the public media have called for an African Pope to lead the Church this time.

However, head of Catholic Church in Malakal Diocese said: “I personally feel that we cannot identify the Chair of St Peter with particular continent or race. Always when the cardinals elect a new Pope, the Catholics and the world embrace that election with great joy and enthusiasm. And that is the strength of the Catholic Church; we are ready to welcome anybody.”

“The outgoing Pope is from Germany and succeeded John Paul II was a Polish. There was no problem. “We have no problem of where the pope comes from,” he added.

Roko Taban Musa asked the Catholics all over the world to prayer for Pope Benedict XVI’s life.

Pope Benedict is to stay at the papacy summer residence in Castelgandolfo outside Rome until restoration work on his new home in a cloistered monastery inside the Vatican is completed.

The Pope says that from there, he will live a life dedicated to prayer.

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