The recent resignation of the Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI has left many dumbfounded.
A decision of great courage from the 85-year old clergyman, his example has created debate as to why the Pope threw in the towel at a time when his church is losing popularity in Europe.
The resignation may spell a new era in the world order, as a new system of democracy dawns in a world infested with tyranny and dictatorship.
A lesson yet to be learnt by African church leaders like the ousted Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga who has blinkered his sight towards his own destiny, whilst creating animosity in the church of the living God.
His stubbornness led to his shameful ousting when the heavy arm of the law descended on him.
While some countries resort to the uncivilised ‘art’ of coup d’etats, common sense should be common enough to tell someone that when it’s time up, the leader shoould leave peacefully.
No one has ever heard of coups in church, but while the older generation has played their own part in clearing the way for the younger generation, it remains debatable whether they can easily give up the reigns of the churches to young blood.
However common sense in our motherland has proved rather difficult to apply, as fear of being haunted by the past stands in the way of truth and submission to the cause of nature.
Even the wisest man to ever walk the face of the earth King Solomon said “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”
His words were not only inspired by God himself, but by nature which tells humans a lot about how they should respond to certain seasons.
While the whole world was shocked by the sudden resignation of the pontiff, respondents who spoke to Relzim.org said he made a good decision.
“The Pope did the right thing; he is tired and has done his part. When you are old there are a lot of limitations and he has showed the Christian fraternity what leaders should be like [him],” Ben Matiwaza a church elder at Harvest House International said.
“It would be good to have a black Pope since the whites have been dominating. They should take a leaf from Barack Obama who proved to the whole world that blacks can run high offices,” Matiwaza said.
Ghanaian cardinal Peter Kadwo Appiah Turkson is one of the top contenders for the Papacy, while fellow African cardinal Frank Arinze has been ruled out of the race due to old age.
However a Christian who responded on condition of anonymity disputed the Pope’s resignation, saying one cannot quit a spiritual office.
“The Pope should not have retired from such a spiritual office,” said this Zimbabwean without specifying the reasons behind his position.
Relzim.org has established that many cases of breakaway ministries emanate from differences in ideologies. Hence many churches were born out of rebellion and strife.
Pastor Peace Maramba of Glad Tidings Fellowship defended the younger generation of preachers saying, “Spiritual fathers should understand how these youngsters operate, so that they do not hinder their growth.” Pastor Maramba added that leaders should not die in office, but should pass on the baton.
Young preachers are known for their zeal and passion, while the older ones tend to be conservative leaders. Power struggles have become the order of the day in the church and the bone of contention is the elderly clinging on to power.
Pope Benedict sets a good example to change the situation in Africa.
We may like him or not, we may agree or disagree with Pope Benedict’s views, but in my opinion, we must admire a decision that places the good of the Catholic Church above his own prestige.