By Florante Catanus, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau | 02/15/2013 12:56 PM
AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – Pinoy Catholics in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia were stunned by the news that Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down by end of February.
Emmanuel Calibuso, an OFW in Dhahran, was saddened by the Pope's sudden resignation because the Pope the leader of the Catholic Church.
“Hindi po maganda ito dahil kung baga yung dignity as Pope ay nawala. Dapat hanggang sa manghina siya dapat kayanin niya. Yong pag-step down niya ng biglaan ay hindi maganda para sa Simbahang Katolika,” Calibuso said.
He wishes Pope Benedict XVI was like his predecessor Pope John Paul II where he served his flock of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world till his death.
Like Calibuso, Neil Charise Bejasa, a student at the International Philippine School in Al-Khobar, is also saddened by the news.
“Nakakalungkot lang po kasi matagal na siyang nag-serve sa atin, kasi kung talagang hindi na kaya ng kanyang katawan, puwede po siyang humingi ng tulong kay God para palakasin siya muli,” Bejasa said.
But for Elena Blancaflor, an OFW in AlKhobar, there’s nothing wrong in resigning if the Pope cannot perform his duty anymore because of his health condition.
“Kapag hindi na po niya kaya dahil nahihirapan na po siya dahil sa health niya, nararapat lang po na mag-resign ang Santo Papa. At least honest siya at sinusuporthaan ko po siya,” Blancaflor said.
She is praying that the next Pope will be younger, broad minded and come from Asia.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German national, was elected as Pope Benedict XVI on April 2005 at the age of 78.