Makurdi — As Pope Benedict XVI finally bows out, in the next few hours, one of the cardinals that would elect the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Head of the Abuja Ecclesiastical Province of the Church, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has declared that the election of a new Pope would be strictly based on the canon laws and the will of God and devoid of any other consideration.
Cardinal Onaiyekan stated this in a sermon at a Thanksgiving Mass and Reception organised for him by his alma mater and Old Boys of Mount St. Michael's Secondary School, Aliade in Benue State.
Taking his reading from the book of Matthew 16:13-19 he said "We (Cardinals) will follow laid down canon laws when we go to the conclave to elect a new Pope for the church".
"Cardinals will be directed by the will of God in the election process so that at the end of the day, whoever emerges will be God's chosen".
The cleric regretted that so many persons were reading meanings into why the Catholic pontiff resigned warning that the matter shouldn't be over flogged "because nobody persuaded the Pope to resign and nobody would have forced him to stay".
He noted that despite the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict Benedict XV1, "the Church is standing firm and matching on".
Earlier in a courtesy call on Governor Gabriel Suswam, Cardinal Onaiyekan
had lauded the state government for ensuring a cordial relationship with the church.
In his response, Governor Gabriel Suswam urged parents to bring up their children in the fear of God so that Nigeria could produce more Cardinals in the near future.