President Buhari Felicitates With Pope Francis At 80

President Buhari Felicitates With Pope Francis At 80President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a congratulatory message to Pope Francis as he turns 80 on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

In a statement by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, the President joined the Roman Catholic Church in particular, and Christendom in general, in celebrating the milestone in the life of the Pontiff.

He described him as a man who has shown uncommon humility, generosity and love for humanity.

President Buhari believes Pope Francis has lived, preached and demonstrated the tenets of the Christian faith like Saint Francis of Assisi, who influenced the world around him by caring for the weak, the poor and helpless.

The President gave the assurance that the teachings of His Holiness on peace, love and tolerance in a world embroiled in conflicts will not be lost on leaders, and will continue to resonate through many generations.

President Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant Pope Francis longer life and good health as he serves God and humanity.

Pope Francis Names 17 New Cardinals

Pope Francis, New CardinalsPope Francis has named 17 new cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church from around the world, many of whom will help choose his successor.

The new cardinals come from five continents, and include the Vatican’s envoy to Syria.

The range of backgrounds “represents a break with custom”, said the BBC’s David Willey in Rome.

Pope Francis has now chosen close to a third of the College of Cardinals who will ultimately pick who succeeds him.

The new cardinals come from countries including the Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Mauritius, among others.

During the ceremony, Pope Francis decried what he said was a “growing animosity” between people, and raised concern over those who “raise walls, build barriers and label people”.

“We live at a time in which polarisation and exclusion are burgeoning and considered the only way to resolve conflicts,” he said.

Pope Francis Names 17 New Cardinals

Pope Francis, New CardinalsPope Francis has named 17 new cardinals of the Catholic Church. Those appointed include 13 cardinal who are eligible to vote to elect his successor when he resigns or dies.

The new cardinals are mainly from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The appointments emphasize the growing influence at the Vatican of clerics from the developing world. Only one of the new cardinals is from Italy, the nation that has dominated church politics for centuries.

Pope Francis, who celebrates his 80th birthday in December, appears to be putting down important markers for the future of the Catholic Church.

Cardinals are the most senior members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the Pope.

Obiano Releases 396 Million Naira To Mission Hospitals

ObianoThe Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has disbursed 396 million naira to over 30 mission hospitals in the state.

This was said to be in line with the policy of partnering with the faith-based hospitals to improve healthcare delivery in the state.

The mission hospitals include those that belong to the Roman Catholic, Anglican and the Pentecostal missions.

Presenting the cheques to the different delegations of the faith-based hospitals at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia, the Governor said that the funds would go a long way in taking care of infrastructure and equipment needs.

Governor Obiano announced his efforts in upgrading the over 37 General Hospitals and the Primary Healthcare Centers in the state, especially in the area of improving the welfare of doctors and nurses posted mainly in the remote riverine areas of the state.

The Catholic mission hospitals received 256 million naira.

The Anglican Church and the Pentecostal Mission hospitals got 160 million naira and 10 million naira each.

An additional 22 million naira uniform grants to other mission hospitals and maternity was also disbursed, bringing the total to 396 million naira.

Pope Francis: Who Am I To Judge Gay People?

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be relegated but integrated into society. Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

He was responding to questions about whether there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.”If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?”. He also said he wanted a greater role for women in the Church, but insisted they could not be priests.

The Pope arrived back in Rome on Monday after a week-long tour of Brazil – his first trip abroad as pontiff – which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival.

Festival organisers estimated it attracted more than three million people. Pope Francis, the first ever pontiff from Latin America, has struck an unusual new tone. Now he is back at his desk in his modest Vatican quarters, he has some important decisions to make about the future governance of his Church.

Normally the cardinals who run the Holy See are off on their long summer holidays at this time of year. But Pope Francis’ seasons are not the same as those of his predecessors. In the Southern Hemisphere, where the bulk of his international flock now lives, it is winter.

Pope Francis plans to spend the month of August preparing for some radical changes in the future governance of his worldwide Church. Be prepared for some big surprises. His remarks on gay people are being seen as much less judgemental than his predecessor’s position on the issue.

Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests.

But Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well,” Pope Francis said in a wide-ranging 80-minute long interview with Vatican journalists.

“It says they should not be marginalised because of this but that they must be integrated into society.”

But he condemned what he described as lobbying by gay people.

“The problem is not having this orientation,” he said. “We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem.”

On the role of women in the Church, he said: “We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no… That door is closed.”


Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85, the Spokesman to the spiritual father, Federico Lombardo, said on Monday.

The Pope told the Cardinals of the Catholic Church on Monday that he decided to take the decision due to “ill health”.

The last pope  to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. He was said to have taken the decision to end a supposed civil war in the church where more than one person claimed to be the Pope.

Benedict is the 265th Pope, and the sixth German to serve in this capacity. Benedict, who became Pope in 2005 is the first German to appointed since the 11th Century.

Below is the official Vatican translation of Pope  Benedict’s statement on his resignation:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church.

After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.

For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 11 February 2013 BENEDICTUS PP XVI