It was a great shock in the Catholic community yesterday, when POPE BENEDICT XVI announced to the 1.2 billion worshipers of his intending resignation as the 256th Pope. The 85-year-old Pope said age and illness were forcing him to step down at the end of the month.
Pope Benedict XVI broke the news in Latin to Vatican cardinals, saying his deteriorating ‘strength of mind and body’ means he could not go on. According to sources, the decision was so secret that not even close aides knew.
Pope Benedict XVI elder brother Georg Ratzinger, 89, said: ‘His age is weighing on him – at his age, my brother wants more rest.’
Pope Benedict XVI, who was born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany is the first pope in almost 600 years to resign and this will fore a rare election process in which the sitting pontiff will oversee his replacement.
Now that there is a vacancy in the Vatican, many people both Catholics and other faiths are now tipping the Roman Catholic Church to appoint its first black Pope.
Its this going to be a dream come through for Africa and the “Black Race?” The two most prominent Cardinals in the Vatican are from Nigeria and Ghana.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, 64, of Ghana and Cardinal Francis Arinze, 80, of Nigeria.
- If there is to be a “Black Pope” in the Vatican by Easter, who would be your choice?
- Should the African Church start “Praying and Fasting” for an African Pope?
- Should all Churches join “Hand & Faith” in praying for a “Black Pope”?