The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on health grounds is acceptable and within the laws governing the Catholic church, Rev. Father Paulino Mondo, a senior member of the Kenyan Episcopal Church Conference, said in Nairobi Monday following the Pontiff’s shock resignation.
“He (Pope Benedict XVI) has done good work and his resignation at this time is a good message and a pointer to world leaders. It (resigning) is a legacy that great leaders like Nelson Mandela have left to the world. This is a good message to our church,” Father Mondo stated.
Father Mondo, the Head of the Comboni Missionaries Kenya Province, said the resignation of any Bishop, Cardinal or Father was allowed by the Code 333 of the Canon law.
“It has been taken that the Papacy is an office for life. The Pope was 85 and with the whole world in mind, he decided that this is not a responsibility you can take lying down,” Father Mondo added.
The Pope announced his resignation, citing his poor health and age. The resignation will take effect on 28 February and would be followed by a conclave of the church’s cardinals below 74 years of age, to elect the next Pope.
Father Mondo said in his nearly eight years in power, the Pontiff left a legacy of good leadership around the world.
“The Pope is an ambassador of peace. He has spearheaded the world peace, the environment and has left the church as a strong community that can take strong decisions,” he added.