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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid