World leaders hail pope’s leadership, critics bristle

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World political and religious leaders praise Pope Benedict XVI for bolstering interreligious ties and showing leadership to the world's 1.1 billion Catholics, hailing him as one of today's "most significant religious thinkers". AFP


Pope Benedict XVI holds the pastoral staff as he celebrates Christmas midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this December 25, 2008 file photo. AP

WASHINGTON—The world’s top political and religious leaders expressed shock and regret Monday at Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, but declared respect for his tenure and leadership of 1.1 billion Catholics.

Plaudits and warm messages of support swiftly followed an announcement that the 85-year-old pontiff would step down this month due to old age, as victims of the church’s child sex abuse scandal tempered the mood with avowed criticism.

“He is and remains one of the most significant religious thinkers of our time,” Chancellor Angela Merkel, a pastor’s daughter, said in a glowing tribute from the pope’s native Germany.

Pope quits, shocks world

In the mainly Catholic Philippines, President Benigno Aquino’s office highlighted the sympathy the pontiff expressed for Filipinos when deadly storms and other disasters hit the country.

“Not only the Catholic world, but all peoples and nations of goodwill are filled with great regret,” one of Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said in a statement.

“At this time, when the pope has announced the physical challenges he faces makes it difficult to continue bearing the burdens of his office, we join the Catholic world and all whose lives he has touched in prayer and sympathy,” he said.

Philippines feels sympathy for pope—Palace

In Washington, President Barack Obama offered “appreciation and prayers” on behalf of all Americans, saying he and his wife Michelle had warm memories from a 2009 meeting.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Benedict would be “missed as a spiritual leader to millions” who had “worked tirelessly to strengthen Britain’s relations with the Holy See.”

And one of the most glowing tributes came from Brazil’s Catholic bishops, who hailed the outgoing pontiff’s “humility and greatness.”

Closer to the Vatican, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano saluted the pontiff’s “courage” over the decision to quit, making him the first pope in more than 700 years to step down, and after less than eight years in post.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard focused on the difficulties of the pope’s decision, and she praised him for nevertheless taking such a step.

“On his election, Joseph Ratzinger said he wished to be ‘a simple humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord’ and in his resignation that humility has been amply demonstrated,” Gillard was quoted by Australian Associated Press (AAP) news agency as saying.

Joseph Ratzinger was the pope’s name before he was made pontiff.

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said the pope’s announcement caused “dismay and great sadness (in the Holy See) because he is a great pope.”

From other world religions, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told AFP that Benedict had improved ties between Judaism and Christianity that helped reduce anti-Semitism around the world.

Benedict’s papacy “elevated Catholic-Jewish relations onto an unprecedented level,” World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said in a statement.

“No pope before him visited as many synagogues.”

Justin Welby, head of the 85-million-strong worldwide Anglican communion as the new archbishop of Canterbury, said Benedict held his office with “great dignity, insight and courage.”

During his historic 2010 visit to Britain, the pope proved “a witness to the universal scope of the gospel and a messenger of hope at a time when Christian faith is being called into question,” said Welby.

And bishops in Spain — a country the pope visited three times — said they felt “orphaned” by the resignation, having felt “secure and enlightened by his rich teaching and his paternal closeness.”

A ‘more quiet’ style

In Uganda, Kampala Archdiocese chancellor Joseph Kazibwe Ntuwa said Benedict had exhibited a different, “more quiet” style of leadership than his predecessor John Paul II.

Benedict’s leadership on core issues such as abortion and contraception had met with approval from Africa’s traditionally more conservative Catholics, he added.

The secretary general of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, Bishop Eugenio Lira Rugarcia, remarked that the pope appeared diminished physically when he visited Mexico in March, but praised his leadership.

“Benedict XVI has been a completely open and transparent man, and this was a very honest decision,” Lira Rugarcia told a news conference.

“The papacy of Benedict XVI has been very effective. His hand has not trembled in order to act firmly. He has taken very clear decisions.”

But such remarks were met with scorn by groups representing victims of child abuse in Catholic-run institutions. They welcomed the resignation.

“This pope had a great opportunity to finally address the decades of abuse in the church, but at the end of the day he did nothing but promise everything and in the end, he ultimately delivered nothing,” said John Kelly, of the Irish Survivors of Child Abuse support group.

In Australia, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a statement saying the pontiff had done little to stop “the reign of terror of child rapist priests,” according to AAP.

And the US branch of SNAP said the pope “still has two weeks” to take action against child sex abuse by church staff.

“Before he steps down, we hope he will show true leadership and compassion and take tangible action to safeguard vulnerable children,” the group said.

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  • rethinking_madness

    The links are misplaced.

  • Echuserang_Froglet

    ppppppppppwwwweeeehhhhh kadiri eeeeeewwwwwww

  • JoseMiguelCasuarino

    I am also reeling from shock about the Pope’s resignation…. I am sad.  However as I see his fotos how he has grown old and looks tired.  I fully respect his decision and honestly open about his admission that physically he is no longer strong.  Indeed the pastoral responsibility  to lead the Catholics all over the world … needs one who is physically and mentally strong….Pope Benedict we pray for you.

  • daniboy2012

    helll will have feast on these world leaders souls!!!

    • boypalaban

      wow ang galing ng propetang ito…
      danibotoks musta na?
      musta na ang nangangarap maging hitler?

      may suggestion ako…pa tatoo ka ng SpongeBob sa noo…scrotum!

      • magiting78

        Hahahaha bakit spongebob…pero mas mainam gamit n pantattoo yung ginagamit s kalabaw at baka yung binagang bakal hahhaa

  • Fulpol

    he is not popular among the clergy…. 

  • Jimenez

    Papal Authority:

    Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
    Jesus said, “TAKE CARE OF MY SHEEP.” John 21:16

    This Authority will be handed-over for the 266th times!

    Who will be the next Peter of Rome?

    • Pablo316

      The Roman Catholic Church may have appropriated to herself
      (as well as other religious groups professing to be Christians) all the
      authority, power and self-appointed privileges they can lay their hands on
      nevertheless the written words of God remains the true authority when it comes
      to Christianity.


      For any form of Christianity that is not based or warranted
      by the Bible is but a Christianity of their own making. Thus we have the
      following words of the Lord Jesus Christ written for our own admonition:


      “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not
      accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last
      day.” (John 12:48)

      The Bible is no respecter of religion nor of person, in fact
      no one is above its words for they are the very words of God and themselves is
      the ‘Sword of the Holy Spirit’ that even the Satan and the demons will not be
      able to defeat.

      I therefore encourage every godly person to read, study and
      live its pure and unadulterated teachings.

      “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for
      teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the
      servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17)

      “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than
      the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already
      said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than
      what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:8-9)

      “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for
      you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who
      will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”
       Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the
      sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very
      near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
      (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

      • generalproblem

        hehehe pablo propeta kaba o isang tao na gustong maging pastor. maganda yan lahat yumaman dyan hehehe. puro success story pag nag pastor

      • Pablo316

        I’m neither a pastor nor a
        prophet but just an ordinary Bible-believing Christian.


        Nevertheless your comment is just
        another confirmation of how lost many people are because of the proliferations
        of false teachers who peddle around the word of God for money. It is anyway
        already known and foretold in the Bible, that is why it is written:


        will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into
        disrepute. In their greed these teachers will
        exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging
        over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:2-3)


        I will be remiss if I will not warn people that among
        so-called evangelical Christians is a strain that are clearly false teachers
        and who are worldly and at close inspection are clearly demonic:


        These kind of pastors are mostly affiliated with prosperity
        gospel groups, health wealth movement, word faith etc.



        BENNY HINN











        And many, many more, in fact the list can go on and on and
        almost inexhaustible but their lies will be easy to detect if you yourselves
        know the very words and teachings of the Bible.


        Do read, study and live its pure and unadulterated teachings
        which respects no person or religion.


        The Bible’s teachings are easy to understand (except for
        some prophecies) and you don’t have to be a theologian, scholar, pastor, priest
        etc to be able to understand it, you just need a believing heart.

      • Patas

        Nabasa mo na ba at naintindihan yung original Bible copy?

        Kung hindi pa, samakayuwid, hindi mo pa nababasa ang sinasabi mong ‘unadulterated teachings’ na pinangangalandakan mo.

        Isa ka ring uto-uto ng o malamang katulad ka rin ng marami riyan na nakabasa lang ng ilang talata ng bibliya, pakiramdam nila, henyo na sila at may karapatan ng magdadakdak upang ‘pangaralan’ kaming mga tinatawag ninyong ‘hindi mananampalataya’.

        Peke ka, brod. Peke.

      • Pablo316

        I am not here to defend my own honor, so you can call me
        whatever you want to, nevertheless I will never stop encouraging God-fearing
        and God-seeking people to read, study and live the pure and unadulterated
        teachings of the Bible. If you are not a God-fearing and a God-seeking person,
        you should not be bothered by such invitation.

      • Patas

        Pa-martyr effect ka pa pero sa huling banat mo, kulang na lang sabihin mong ako ay isang maka-demonyong tao….
        ayos ka rin, brod! very nice move as a pretender….

      • generalproblem

        so hindi kapa pastor ngayon nang aakit pa lang para magkaroon ng follower at matawag na pastor. dyan nagsimula si bro eddie ngayon kakandidato na sa pagka senador. malayo mararating mo hehheeh. punta ka sa pagadian marami naloko ng scam duon kailangan nila ng counselling.

      • Jimenez

         San mo naman nakuha ang Authority mo para mag preach ng gospel? Papano mapapatuayan na TRUTH ang mga sinasabi mo kung wala ka Flock ni Kristo?

        Binasa mo ang Bible namin (Catholic Made the Bible) base sa sarili mong interpretasyon…

        Ang galing mong mag copy-and-paste ng mga verses sa Bible, pero di mo sinusunod ang mga habilin ni Kristo…

        Ang importante kasi sa inyo PERA! mga materyal na bagay… at kalagayan sa Buhay…


      • Pablo316

        Authority to preach – that’s just one of the favorite
        stumbling blocks that people who wants to keep people from reading and knowing
        the very words of God would throw in.


        Another is ‘Interpretation’ as if only a few elite were
        given the capability to understand God’s word.


        These stumbling blocks were put forth by some people who
        wants to hinder other people from knowing the words of God directly, as if they
        are not capable of understanding the words of God thru the help of the Holy
        Spirit who is freely given by God to those who look for Him with faith. People
        who foster such hindrance usually have the ulterior motive of limiting people’s
        understanding to their tailored fit dogmas and doctrines so that they can
        manipulate them to their whims and caprices.


        The Bible interprets itself and there should be no doctrine
        that can be culled out of just one verse only (only cultic groups do that). The
        whole package of the written words of God should support such doctrine or


        With the exceptions of some prophecies, the Bible is very
        plain for it is not written primarily to theologians, scholars, pastors or
        priests or whoever of that sort but to each ordinary believing person, so that
        they will grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.


        Thus the following verses are just example of the fact that
        the Bible is not some encrypted book that only those supposedly highly-trained
        people can decipher. No what is only needed is a believing and seeking heart:


        “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for
        you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who
        will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”
         Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the
        sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very
        near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
        (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)


        “For we do not write you anything you cannot read or
        understand. “ (2 Corinthians 1:13)

        By the way you just made a lot of false  accusations for me when all I do is encourage people to read and obey the Bible.

      • Jimenez

        What bible version ba yan? Demonic Bible e.g. KJV? NIV?

        Very Good! Bagay na bagay sa KULTO nyo.. Dapat isingit ang word na “Born Again” sa bible..para maraming ma-deceive na mga tao!

        Bible-based Church = Man-made church  =  Satanic Church

        Imagine… isa ka lang sa 30,000 churches claiming they’re Christians… Walang Unity… Hindi Universal..

  • niceguy60

    I’m shocked. How could a Pope resign? Aren’t they supposed to serve until their last breath? But i fully respect his decision. He has me and my families thoughts and prayers.

  • Pablo316

    In the coming few years the Roman Catholic-owned prophecy by
    St. Malachy called the ‘Prophecy of the Popes’ will now be put to the test and
    I encourage people especially Roman Catholics to dig into this prophecy and
    together let us wait and see whether this will come to pass.


    Unlike the December 21, 2012 prophecy which we
    Bible-believing Christians simply brushed aside for the reason that the Bible
    still speaks of the 1000 year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on Earth before
    the world will be written out, this Prophecy of the Popes has the capacity to
    correlate with what is clearly prophesied in the Bible as recorded in Revelation
    chapter 17.


    So heeding the Bible’s advice not to treat prophecies with
    contempt (1 Thessalonians 5:20) but to wait and see whether they will come true
    or not, let us watch out for this one.


    We are indeed living in a very exciting times when many
    Bible prophecies are now poised to happen just in the few years ahead of us.


    With this let me encourage God-fearing and God-seeking
    people to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ thru their written words – the
    Bible! God bless!

    • Patas

      Buhay na buhay ka, brod kapag may news about Catholics!
      Parang iyang religious organization (kuno) ninyo, buhay na buhay kapag inaatake ang anything Catholicism….yup! negative-church ang tawag sa inyo. Hindi kayo mabubuhay kapag nawala ang ‘usual punching bag’ ninyo na mga katoliko.

      • Pablo316

        I am not a Roman Catholic-basher per se as you would expect
        cultic groups such as the INC, nevertheless in sharing the truth of the Bible
        it is unavoidable that some teachings of RCC have to be dealt head on.


        My main purpose in writing comments here is to call to the
        attention to those God-fearing and God-worshipping persons among the Roman
        Catholic Church to take notice of the Bible; that they should know their
        ‘catholic’ Bible because that is the true, pure and unadulterated teachings of


        Never did I in my comments invited people to join this so
        and so group sin order that the sharing of the Gospel will not be tainted by
        religious biases.

      • Patas

         Alam kong hindi ka INC-member dahil BAWAL sa kanila ang magbasa ng bibiliya….

        Just the same, you are a Catholic-basher, whether you admit it or not.

      • batangpaslit

        Bro…disinguish truth from lies
        Bash the lies, but uphold what is true and what is Godly

      • batangpaslit

        the LORD bless you, Bro, for taking the courage in speaking for Truth

      • Jimenez

         Lies and deceptions ang mga sinasabi nyan… mag ingat ka.. Yan ang characterstic ng Dragon sa Revelation..

      • Rene

        This is my reply to PabloSwertres

        Bakit ka naniniwala kay St. Malachy, catholic saint yan. Di ba everything about Catholics pinabubulaanan mo, mga idol worshipers, false teachers, etc.. At ngayon naniniwala ka sa prophecy na even the Catholic Church did not even authenticated.

        Di ba palagi mong sinasabi na “Don’t go beyond what is written in the Holy Scriptures.” ?? At bakit ngayon naniniwala ka sa isang prophecy na wala sa bibliya?

        In 1 Thessalonians 5:20 it is clear that St. Paul is
        referring to the prophecies recorded in the bible no matter who prophesy as long as it is biblical.

        Palagay ko palagi kang dumadaan sa Quiapo at nagpa fortune telling, palm reading, tarot cards, astrology etc. Pareho lang yon sa pagpaniwala ng mga prophecies na wala sa bibliya. Isa ka palang pagano in the real sense.

      • batangpaslit

        square it the teachings of Roman Catholicism if it is true.
        seek the Truth
        Pope Benedict did not resign, he renounced the Papacy that is why he is abdicating it.
        Pope Benedict pronounced too that the doctrine of Purgatory is false.
        investigate the teachings of the true Living GOD in the Scriptures, not the traditions made by men.
        RCC worships a god that is made of wood, which has ears but could not hear
        worshipping graven images is forbidden in the Ten Commandments, but you defy the Almight One
        if you would keep doing that…your life is not just “patas”, but your soul is going to Hell and suffer for eternity for worshipping the Devil, behind the wooden GOD

      • mxsclxmxn

        tell that to your pastor! he will believe you! toink!

      • emajega

        napansin ko rin brod

    • Rene

      Bakit ka naniniwala kay St. Malachy, catholic saint yan. Di ba everything about catholics pinabubulaanan mo, mga idol worshipers, false teachers, etc.. At ngayon naniniwala ka sa prophecy na even the catholic church did not even authenticated.

      Di ba palagi mong sinasabi na “Don’t go beyond what is written in the Holy Scriptures.” ?? At bakit ngayon naniniwala ka sa isang prophecy na wala sa bibliya? In 1 Thessalonians 5:20 it is clear that St. Paul is referring to the prophecies recorded in the bible no matter who prophesy as long as it is biblical.

      Palagay ko palagi kang dumadaan sa Quiapo at nagpa fortune telling, palm reading, tarot cards, astrology etc. Pareho lang yon sa pagpaniwala ng mga prophecies na wala sa bibliya. Isa ka palang pagano in the real sense.

  • johnlagrimas

    Irrefutable truths: by Rizal Manalo

    1) There’s not one protestant Church [ including born again christians, etc.] – the protestants keep dividing. It only goes to show that their doctrines are not solid, their teachings are dependent on the moods of the ‘leader’ and their spirituality bends with the wind.

    2) Those who left the Catholic Church are disgruntled people who did not really understand their faith either because they did have the brains for it or they did not receive the grace or they found it difficult to live by its teachings. So to justify their wrong doings they left the Church and either put up their own or joined those who were willing to condone with their wrong doings.

    3) Only the Catholic Church has withstood all the challenges and tests of times. It has remained THE One, Holy, Apostolic, Universal Church. Whatever protestants say, the
    Church is the Church and no matter what their claims are, no matter how they attack it, the fact remains that the Catholic Church remains to have the biggest following, the most influential and highly respected among other big religious denominations. Unfortunately, it’s the small time breakaway protestant groups that are most angry at the Church. That’s what you call GREAT ENVY!

    4) Only to the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church – and no other small time, self-appointed pastor – enjoy the respect and highest esteem of all world leaders.

    5) And so in their despair to grow into not even 1% the size of the Catholic Church, these small time envious trying hard self-proclaimed breakaway protestants are dying to do everything they could to attack and put down the Church. Does it even create a scratch? Nah! They are only able to persuade those ‘Catholics’ who were never Catholics from the start.

    6) There have been a number of intelligent, well-known protestants and pastor, who after studying the faith, embraced the Catholic Church because they realized how stupid they had been to have embraced a religion that was only concocted by one or two self-proclaimed prophets’.  We have Cardinal Newman, Scott Hahn, and Steve Ray [to name the few].

    7) There are few small Christian groups who are not‘attackers’ of faith. While they may have reasons why they left the Catholic Church, they remain friendly and respectful. Now, that is what I call Christian– we may not have the same faith but we are believers of the same God – and we respect the way we express our faith.

    • mxsclxmxn

      …hahaha, babaliktarin ng pastor yan! He will not believe in it.

      But anyways, what is said is the TRUTH!


    • Patas

       Scott Hahn’s ‘Rome, Sweet Home’ is an inspiring piece….it helped me go back to where I should belong from the very start (Thank you Mr. ‘Bok’ Legaspi for giving the book free of charge during the time I do not have even a P100 in my pocket).

      There are snakes in the midst of Catholics, there are those who try to ruin it from the inside…and yet as the Bible has stated a long time ago, EVEN THE GATES OF HELL could not win over this church that The Lord had built.

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