MANILA, Philippines --- The Pope-the leader of the Roman Catholic Church-is well-loved by the billions of faithful all over the world, including Filipinos, with his sermons and messages dearly followed and shared. When the breaking news of Vatican's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned from his post spread like wildfire the other day, probably everyone was shocked.
The Pope cited his deteriorating health as his main reason from stepping down, effective exactly 8:00 p.m. (Vatican time) on February 28. By then, Benedict XVI will once again be known as Joseph Ratzinger, a native of Germany-a future ex-pope that Christendom will surely miss.
How did Filipinos feel about the pope's unprecedented move? MB Research went to the streets to find out:
"Of course, I was sad because he stayed as the Pope for a long time, then suddenly he would leave his post. Of course, I think that the Catholics' faith in the archbishops and priests has somewhat lessened-because of what he did."
JOY PURUGGANAN, 21
Construction coordinator/San Juan City
"Same things as what others said. Of course, I was shocked-it was the first time it happened in the [recent] history of the Roman Catholic faith-that a pope resigns, due to his age. It came to me as a surprise."
RANDEL REFRAN, 22
Factory supervisor/ Quezon City
"As soon as I knew that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, I was shocked because as a Christian, I see to it that I maintain my faith active-that I always go to church. I was wondering, I was surprised by the turn of events. Traditionally, the Pope would stay at his position until he dies. I'm waiting, excited, on who is going to be the new Pope. "
JOHN KEVIN CRUZ, 20
Civil Engineering student/Meycauayan, Bulacan
"Of course, I think that he wants to rest, due to his health condition. But he has somewhat contributed to the faith, because he spent most of his time on his vocation. He is a kind man, there were no issues or problems about him. We cannot stop him, that was his choice. As we didn't want him to resign, we cannot do anything about it."
CARMELITA VILLASIN, 38
Street vendor/Quiapo, Manila
"It was sad. I felt sad because Pope Benedict XVI is a great pope. I read from the news that our own Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is a good choice, because we would have a Filipino Pope. Pope Benedict XVI is a good Pope, as he had some reforms in the Vatican. If he wanted to resign, we can't do anything about it.
NESTOR YANG, 60
Former construction welder/Quiapo, Manila
"It hurts-because he gives sermons well, he serves well. I hope that he gets well soon, and would change his mind."
DOLORES PLACIDA TICALA, 63
Street vendor/Sta. Cruz, Manila
"I'm not in favor of him resigning just because of his health. For sure, he has underlying reasons behind-with issues such as the RH Bill."
Jeepney driver/Muntinlupa City
"I think that his resignation won't affect us because surely, there will be someone to replace him-and he has subordinates. However, it's also poses a big question to people, because most other popes before him still chose to serve regardless of being in an advanced age.
FRANCISCO GARCIA, JR., 51
"He is already old and can hardly go out anymore. Maybe adding to it is the pressure [coming from the society]."
ROCHELLE UY, 37
"It's creating a big impact on Catholics, because he, as a leader-suddenly resigned. But if his reason [for resigning] is valid and acceptable to the public, it would be okay."
MYRA ESPINOSA, 50
"It would depend on his situation [on why he relinquished his post]. The bottomline there is if his body is already weak for his post. It would be better for him to rest."
JIMMY SALVADOR, 62
"Probably the problem really lies with his health. Because the pope usually doesn't resign if he has no [health] problems-as a "Til death do us part' position."
MIGUEL ALCOBER, 63
"My reaction? Of course, sad-because he is kind. The whole world might be affected."
RENATO DOLABRE, 40
"The reason why he resigned [aside from his health condition] is due to his advanced age-that's why he can no longer deliver his duties as the Pope."
FERVIL VON CHANDLER, 20
"I was shocked [at the news] because he was probably the only pope who resigned due to deteriorating health condition, but I think that he's still fit to serve. [But maybe] the recent Catholic scandals helped slowly worsen his health. [But] even if that's the case, I'm still happy because he's unlike the popes before him."
KIM VINCENT CARUAJAL, 25
Property Specialist/Muntinlupa City
"It was his right [to resign] because he's also human. Also, he's getting very old."
JUN CALIENTE, 40
"He should have thought first that his sudden decision to resign would have a great impact to the entire Roman Catholic Church. We won't know if the outcome of his decision will be good."
JERIC KABIGTING, 18
2nd year accounting student
(Interviews by Monch Mikko E. Misagal, Cyndice Jeffrel P. Calucag, and John Aries C. Bejer)