I am in a State of Shock!

Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th successor to the throne of St. Peter, Supreme Head of the Universal Church, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Head of State of Vatican City, Bishop of Rome, Primate of the West and God's Messenger of Peace and Unity. At the age of 78 during his election to Papacy in 2005, he was one of the oldest Cardinals to become a Roman Pontiff and the first to resign in almost 600 years since Gregory XII in 1415

Still reeling in shock on the unexpected resignation of the beloved Pope...

I am extremely devoted to the Roman Catholic church and very loyal to its teachings and traditions. Despite the transformation of society to modernity and recklessness and amidst the emergence of fundamentalists who lured weak Catholics to their groups, I remained faithful to my religion, following the conservative approach of Catholicism.

I grew up accompanying my father serving our parish as a lay minister and had seen him all my life rendering his unselfish service to the church. So I developed this strong affinity to my faith and a culture of adhering the traditional devotional practices directly commanded by the Vatican. I observed days of obligations and solemnities reverently. I often do an act of mortification during Holy Week.

My respect for my religion is immeasurable and all my decisions in life are based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. I treated the social encyclicals written by several Popes as my life guide and believe that all Popes deserved to be respected by all means.

The decade I was born saw the installation of the new Pope, John Paul II, whose charisma and mass appeal surpassed almost all his predecessors, and whose way of living gave true definition to what Christianity is all about. His effort to unite the world torn by chaos, wars and misunderstanding, created a great impact to people from all walks of life and he became an eternal inspiration. Me too, was mystified and drawn with his unique charm and leadership. 

When he died in 2005, it was terrible, the pain, the sadness of missing a very important symbol of true Catholic faith, justice and morality were all over in my system and though it's impossible to ask God to bring back John Paul II to life, I prayed that may his successor followed what had he started.

I was one of the million Catholics who anxiously waited who will be the next Pope and when it was announced that the Conclave had chosen Joseph Ratzinger, a German Cardinal, who had been John Paul II's closest adviser, I was relieved because he was referred as someone who could really guard the conservative teachings of the Catholic Church. They were right, he continued the crusade left by Pope John Paul II.

But Pope Benedict XVI reigned during the time the world was pushed into madness and wickedness, when the society tolerated the demons around, the wrongdoings and immorality, when people became so heavily influenced with modernity and became disrespectful with human dignity, when the teachings of the church, faith and righteousness are not valued anymore. 

The Pope, as faithful to his mission as he is, tried to fight what is morally upright, tried to steer back the people and even authorities, leaders and officials to the meaning of faith and moral values, strongly opposing same sex marriages, abortion, birth control, cloning, IVF, disintegration of marriage, but his effort went into drain as people and society became so enamored with impiety and transgression. And maybe it's too much for the aging Pope to bear.

Blessed Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI's predecessor. His unique mass appeal, charisma, humility, compassion and leadership made him one of the most effective God's messengers of peace and solidarity ever sat in the throne of St. Peter. The media called him the most beloved Pope of all time. He was the exact representation of what Christianity is all about. He fought tirelessly for the preservation of Christian values and human dignity and had reach out to the world, calling to join his crusade fighting oppression and defending moral values. Now, the legacy he left is rocked by criticism and smirking and needed someone to stand strongly to hold what is left for humanity and morality.

This is the first time since 1415 that a Roman Pontiff resigns from Papacy.By tradition, elected Popes should serve as head of the Roman Catholic Church for life and just like traditional monarchs, only the death of abdication could make the position they occupied vacant. But in this case, Pope Benedict XVI decided to resign due to his advance age which made him difficult to carry the task expected for the Pope, mentally and physically.

May his resignation will not push for the disintegration of the Roman Catholic Church whose members are too preoccupied with impishness and undignified ideologies.

I will remain devoted to my religion no matter what happens. I will continue to uphold the values and teachings I learned from my faith.

Though the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI greatly saddens me as I believed he is truly a devoted Vicar of Christ and a loyal servant of God, I am hoping the next Pope will continue the Christianity crusade, will stand and defend the humanity from tyranny and oppression and will continue to fight for peace and unity and what is moral. 

I still believe we can make this world a better place to live in.

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