MANILA, Feb. 12, 2013—Even as they were caught by surprise on the suddenness of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will step down from papacy, several youth leaders expressed their sadness on the Pope’s resignation.
Roselle Cortes, youth coordinator of Novaliches diocese, although sad upon hearing the news, nonetheless expressed some optimism and urged fellow youth to pray for the pope and the Church.
“Since our Church is a living one, we acknowledge that the leadership is subject to change. In this year of Faith, we are still called to live as Catholics, hoping and praying that everything happens for a purpose. Thus, we should still continue our service for the Church in our own little ways,” Cortes said.
She added that the youth should continue to pray for the Pontiff’s welfare and the Church.
Two other youth leaders, Ella Alfaro of Pasig and Len Martes of Cubao, both expressed sadness on hearing the news of the Pope’s resignation and hope that a new pontiff will be elected soon.
Even if shocked by the pope’s unexpected resignation, Alfaro sees the act as an invitation to prayer and reflection for all the faithful in the Catholic Church.
Martes said she understands the reasons of the Supreme Pontiff. Even if disappointed, she is praying for the pope’s good health and the welfare of the Universal Church.
For Milarie Babia of the Institucion Teresiana (IT) Youth, she said the Pope was just being honest in admitting he could no longer perform the tasks demanded of him because of old age and ill health. She asked her fellow youth for a united prayer for the Pope.
Ninya Orense from Lipa archdiocese said the announcement of the pope’s resignation not only brought sadness but also led her to a profound reflection.
“But if we will pause for a moment of silence and reflect that God will be the center and part of our thinking, all our sadness and worry will fade. The Pope did not make the decision immediately, he prayed about it many times. We must follow his steps, pray before deciding.”
Meanwhile, Joel Arzaga, Novaliches youth commission head for World Youth Day 2013 urged fellow Filipino youth delegates to World Youth Day to continue praying for the pope and the Church as they prepare themselves for the world gathering.
“Let us pray for the Church at this time of trial, hope and new beginning. Let us also pray for Pope Benedict XVI and ask the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen the succeeding Pope. But let us keep on working and praying as we continue our journey to Rio where we will get the precious blessing of welcoming the new Pope,” Arzaga furthered.
Though saddened by the resignation of the present pontiff, Filipino youth delegates look forward to meeting the successor of Pope Benedict XVI at the WYD 2013 gathering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July. (Jandel Posion/CBCPNews)