‘Pope wanted to avoid mistake that john paul made’

2013-02-12 00:00

POPE Benedict XVI had not wanted to make the same mistake as the man he was very close to and had succeeded in 2005.

This was the view yesterday of Dr Patric Giddy, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics

“John Paul II was suffering. He saw his suffering as significant, that he was suffering for God,” said Giddy.

“Pope Benedict was very close to him, and he saw what the suffering did to him and he didn’t want to make the same mistake. All credit to him.”

Reacting to the news that the 85-year-old Benedict would step down at month-end because of the effects of old age, Sister Sue Rakoczy, of Saint Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara, echoed the view of millions of faithful.

“It’s a big surprise. It’s also in contrast to Pope John Paul II, who just got weaker and weaker … He was so weak that he couldn’t do his job at one stage.”

She said Benedict’s resignation showed that the Pope was human. “It’s very unusual for someone to be heading a top company at 85 and do a good job. The Catholic Church is like a huge company, and it’s a very demanding job.”

Paddy Kearney, the co-ordinator of the Denis Hurley Centre at the Emmanuel Cathedral in Durban, saluted the Pope for taking the “brave” decision.

“… It will hopefully encourage others in the future to step down when they reach an age where they feel they might not be up to the task.”

The Pope’s resignation would have a positive effect on the Catholic Church. “… It’s a brave step that will have a positive effect in the future.”

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference also expressed surprise at the news.

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