News / Africa

Zimbabweans Welcome Possibility of African Pope

Postcards and calendars are displayed outside a shop at the Vatican, February 12, 2013.Postcards and calendars are displayed outside a shop at the Vatican, February 12, 2013.
x
Postcards and calendars are displayed outside a shop at the Vatican, February 12, 2013.
Postcards and calendars are displayed outside a shop at the Vatican, February 12, 2013.
The sudden announcement by Pope Benedict that he was stepping down was met with an outpouring of emotion in Zimbabwe Monday.  Some welcomed the possibility of an African being elected as the new pope, while others felt the country's president should take a hint from the outgoing one. 

Citing advanced age, Pope Benedict, the 85-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church,  announced Monday that he would step down at the end of this month.  

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Congress Secretary-General Father Frederick Chiromba said his organization respected the pope’s decision to resign.  He said the development, which he never expected, could create a chance for an African to lead the church.

Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze attends a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 18, 2005.Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze attends a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 18, 2005.
x
Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze attends a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 18, 2005.
Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze attends a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 18, 2005.
“We have quite a number of African cardinals now.  It all depends on the direction of the Holy Spirit.  When the conclave and cardinals come together for the selection if they prefer an African leader, no doubt the cardinals will vote for an African,” said Chiromba.

The Vatican said a college of cardinals would meet to elect a new pope before Easter, which falls on March 31.

Media outlets in Zimbabwe and elsewhere have named two Africans as likely candidates:  64-year-old Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and 80-year-old Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana arrives to attend a mass led by bishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 13, 2005.Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana arrives to attend a mass led by bishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 13, 2005.
x
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana arrives to attend a mass led by bishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 13, 2005.
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana arrives to attend a mass led by bishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 13, 2005.
Father Chiromba said it would not surprise him if an African would head the Roman Catholic Church for the first time.

“As African Catholics we have all the qualities to lead the church given our tradition, our spiritual background, given the circularism that is affecting most parts of the words," explained Chiromba. "We have preserved our spirituality.”

In Zimbabwe, some Roman Catholic Church officials have in the past clashed with President Robert Mugabe who they accused of abusing human rights.  Mugabe, a devout Catholic, attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005 despite being on a European Union travel ban.

At the Cathedral in Harare, where Mugabe usually attends services, it was business as usual Tuesday with some Catholics in Zimbabwe driving in to pray.

There was no immediate reaction to Benedict's resignation from Mugabe, who turns 89 later this month and is more than three years older than the pope.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Thomas
February 12, 2013 11:01 PM
Personally I think people there would be extremely grateful for a government that is caring and compassionate for the people, something this Country has not known for such a long time, given all the violence and suffering, not to mention the land seizures etc.
The list is endless.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More