Catholic Bishop explains Pope resignation
Accra, Feb. 12, GNA – The Very Reverend Father Emmanuel Abbey-Quaye, Assistant Secretary General, Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, on Tuesday said the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI would not affect activities at the Vatican.
He said the Catholic Church had well developed structures governing its affairs even if a Pope should resign.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Fr Abbey-Quaye stressed that the Church have well developed structures to absorb the situation.
On possible succession, he explained that even though the Catholic Church has a lot of Cardinals only 120 are eligible to be considered as potential popes since those at 80 and above are not considered.
‘Before a Cardinal can be selected as a Pope, the cardinals (conclave) would meet and hold series of elections until a Pope is finally elected by winning 2/3 of votes count.
‘At first, it could take as long as 15 days, but in recent times a Pope can be selected within the next three days after the conclave has met,’ he said.
Father Abbey-Quaye, said there are about 15 cardinals from Africa at the Vatican, but only 11 are eligible to run for the Papacy due to their ages.
He said Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson who is 64 is eligible.
‘It would be a great honour for us all if Cardinal Turkson is chosen since he would be the first African South of the Sahara to be elected as Pope’, he said.
He said a Pope from Africa would be accorded the same respect as a Pope from any part of the world since racism is not entertained at the Vatican.
‘When God decides to work, He chooses one of His own and there is nothing anyone can do about it, as we all know, Jesus chose fishermen and tax collectors to do his work,’ he said.
He said although the Church had had Popes from Africa before, it was in the early centuries and more over they were from North Africa.
On the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Father Abbey-Quaye said the Pope did not erred in any way neither did he break any rule of the Church since he fulfilled all the conditions which legitimise his resignation.
‘According to the Code of Conduct, there are two conditions which must be fulfilled before a resignation can become legitimate:
‘First and foremost it must be done in freedom or without compulsion from any one and secondly, the resignation must be declared in public for all to know,’ he explained.
He praised the Pope for the decision to take responsibility for the inactions of the Church and for priests who had been accused of abusing children sexually.
‘He has done well by being bold to state the issue of child abuse in the Catholic Church, although it is regrettable, the Holy Spirit would help the Church to get through it,’ he said.
On February 11, Pope Benedict XVI announced to the world his intentions to resign at the end of the month citing ill health as the main reason behind the decision.