Pope Benedict XVI resignation - The President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Monday said the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is shocking to the Christian community in Nigeria.
In a statement here, Oritsejafor said the Catholic Pontiff had impacted positively on the Catholic Church and the Christendom in general, saying 'We will surely miss him. But we take consolation that being alive will enable Christians all over the World to benefit from his rich fountain of experience.”
Oritsejafor’s statement, signed by his Media Adviser, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, “prayed that the Catholic church will have a successor that will match Pope Benedict’s positive attributes and also will carry on with his reforms and sustain the enviable Roman Catholic Doctrine.”
Earlier, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, had said the Pope's resignation will not throw the Catholic Church into crisis.
'There is no panic or crisis in the Church because of the Pope's decision to resign by Feb. 28. A successor will be announced soon,' Archbishop Onaiyekan, the highest ranking Catholic Clergy in Nigeria, told journalists.
He said the Pope's resignation, the first time a Pope has stepped down in over 600 years, was in line with the Canons and Laws of the Roman Catholic Church, hence did not constitute the onset of a crisis.
The Archbishop of Abuja urged all Catholic faithful to pray for the church and the outgoing Pope.
According to the Vatican, the 85-year-old Pope, who is the head of the 1 billion Catholic faithful in the world, is stepping down because of his failing health. Some 16% of the Catholic faithful are in sub-Saharan Africa.