News / Europe

Shock and Hope at Vatican After Benedict's Announcement

Shock, Hope at Vatican on Day After Pope Resignsi
X
February 12, 2013 9:47 PM
People visiting the Vatican continue to express shock at Monday's surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month due to ill health. But they are already thinking about the future of the 1.2 billion-member global Roman Catholic Church. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Vatican City.
Al Pessin
People at the Vatican continue to express shock at the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month.  But they were already thinking about the future of the 1.2-billion-member global Roman Catholic Church. 

On St. Peter's Square, visitors from around the world were talking about the historic announcement, the first of its kind in nearly 600 years.  Most people were sympathetic.

“In one way I am shocked because popes have quite often gone until they die, but on another side, I have admiration for his choice," said a woman who gave her name as Nicky.

Another visitor, Steve, said he understood. "I think Pope Benedict has set a new standard, really."

“My parents called me all the way from Colombia to tell me," said yet another tourist, Melissa. "We were all a bit shocked.  Like, why?  So, yeah, it was basically a shocking news.”

But at least one young woman from a South Korean Catholic family thought it was a bad decision.

“I was just shocked because... God selected him, so I think he needs to do his duty until his death," she said.

Reporter Alessandro Speciale, who covers the Vatican for the Religion News Service, said Pope Benedict “changed the job description” for future popes.  The Roman Catholic Church suffered for lack of strong leadership during the declining years of the previous pope, John Paul II, Speciale said, adding that the church can not afford another period like that, particularly with the scandal of sexual abuse by priests still looming.

“The church is booming and it is very young, both as priests and as believers, in the southern part of the world, and so the risk of cases such as these is still very high there, and is potentially devastating for the church,” Speciale said.

Speciale said strong guidelines and enforcement are needed to prevent the church from losing the moral high ground in its main growth areas, Africa and Latin America.

There was lots of speculation on St. Peter's Square about whether the new pope might come from one of those areas. Most said they would welcome such a move that could bring the church closer to the people of the southern hemisphere.  But they also said the pope's ethnicity is not as important as his spirituality, and his ability to inspire faith in others.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid