Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Pope's Resignation Will Make Catholic Church Stronger - Bishop Ajakaye

The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye has said the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI will strengthen the Catholic Church rather than weaken it as many people have been speculating.

The bishop who spoke to Sunday Trust said the Pope's planned resignation at the end of the month for health reasons is in line with the Canon law and said his resignation is neither shocking nor a cause for concern.

"The Pope will resign but the faith will still be intact. The Catholic Church will still be intact and strong, the church will not be shattered.

"Though some people may have that fear of the unknown, when there are solid structures you don't need to fear the unknown.

"From his statement he has already committed the church into God's hands," he said. The bishop who said the church will not lose its identity quoted from the Canon law to support his point.

"Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resign from his office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and publicly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone," he quoted Canon 332, paragraph 2 of the Law.

"The Catholic Church is the church of Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And because of its uniqueness and solid structures, it will continue to make sure that things are done properly," he added.

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