MANILA, Philippines – The announcement of Pope Benedict XVI that he would step down at the end of this month, citing old age as the reason, shocked the world, including Filipino faithful.
"Nasa eskuwelahan kami kaya nagulat kami. Nabigla kami dahil hindi namin inaasahan na siya ay magbibitiw,” said Fr. Jason Alcaras, a student priest at the Vatican City.
The Pope announced his resignation on Monday at a meeting of cardinals in the Vatican. He said he will step down on February 28.
It was in April 19, 2005 when then Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict XVI.
In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason said they are “completely saddened” by the news.
“We love him and his example has always served us to be more generous. We are amazed and edified by his courage, his humility and love for the world and the whole church. With hope and faith in God's providence, we pray for Pope Benedict XVI and for the next,” said Tuason.
Many were unaware that the Pope could resign from his post as the head of the Catholic Church.
“Hindi natin alam kung ano yung ipapalit sa kanya kung ano ba ang kanyang palakad kagaya nito mabait naman yan,” said overseas Filipino worker, Gary Mane. Diego Evangelista, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau