ROME, Italy – Rome-based Filipinos are still reeling from the shock of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement early this week.
Negros Occidental native Cesar Calangan was among those saddened with the Pontiff’s news. He said he will never forget the time when he had the chance to shake the hands of the Pope.
“Si Pope Benedict masasabi ko na sa biglang tingin masungit na tao dahil sa angkop na lahi ng mga German na strong ang physical na appearance nila pero nang makita ko siya at mahawakan ko ang kanyang kamay napakaamo ng kanyang mukha at para siyang isang anghel,” Calangan said.
For overseas Filipino worker Gilbert Villanueva, the Pope’s decision to step down should be respected.
“Ang importante na matanggap nating lahat bilang katoliko na mayroon pang isang susunod na Pope. Siguro design ito ng Diyos para mapaganda ang takbo ng simbahan,” he said.
Meanwhile, theology student Jeremy Oca felt mixed emotions after hearing the news.
“Sad, because he is a great Pope for a time very good theologian, very good man, but also excited where the Holy Spirit is leading the Church,” he said.
Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason was also emotional.
“I couldn't stop crying. We love him so much. He’s done so much for the Philippines iyong new saint, the cardinal then in 2016 Eucharistic Congress in Cebu,” she said. Report from Jocelyn Ruiz, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau