Rev. Fr. Anthony Omodunbi, the Director of Social Communication Commission, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Osun, has described the death of Pope Benedict XVI, as the death of a man of great faith.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that former pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95, the Vatican announced Saturday, almost a decade after he became the first pontiff to resign in six centuries.
NAN reports that Benedict XVI passed away at 95 at about 9. 34 a.m in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, as announced by the Vatican on Saturday.
Also, the Catholic Pope Emeritus (1927- 2022), had been down with sickness before he passed away.
Reacting to demise of the Pope Emeritus, Omodunbi told NAN that Catholic Church would know that they have lost a great teacher of faith.
“The death of Pope Benedict XVI is the death of a man of great faith, who is very courageous about his faith, about orthodoxy.
“Even, before he became Pope, when he was the Prefect of Congregation for Faith, he always stood his ground for what is right, what is proper, what the Lord is calling the Church to admit all the changes in the world. He is so traditional.
“What shook the world was when he decided to bow out as the Pope when he felt he doesn’t have the strength again and I think that is a great lesson for leaders.
“Nothing actually compelled him to resign, but the Pope felt he doesn’t have the strength any longer and that the church deserves people who have the strength, who can still carry on and so he resigned.
“He decided to stay in the background, not even influencing what is happening anymore. I think these are the things to learn from him.
“Some people bow out, but are still very active influencing decisions.
“He went into the monastery straight, just to be alone and draw closer to God and I think that is a great message for the world,” Omodunbi said.
He said the impact of his death on the Church would be unusual scenario of a Pope burying another Pope, as the current, Pope Francis, would have to bury Pope Benedict.
“It is not common in the recent history of the Church. The Church will also know that they have lost a great teacher of faith,” the cleric said.
Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ogun Chapter, described the late Pope Benedict XVI as “a leader whose ways of life should be emulated by public office holders and anyone that called himself a leader.”
Its spokesman in the state, Pastor Tolulope Taiwo, while reacting to Pope’s death in Abeokuta on Saturday said that the late Pope had sent a strong message and lessons to the world leaders on how best to be a great leader and a true man of God.
“We thank God for the life well spent, there are lot of lessons his person has sent to the world, especially to the leaders of all facets of life.
“This is the man that because of his health and age, discovered that he could no longer discharge his responsibility as effective as desired of him.
“He voluntarily resigned, this is not so with many of our leaders across the globe today. They preferred to die in office, when they know that they are ineffective and inactive, it is a very big lesson to learn from him.
“We have also learnt humility; he was a leader per excellence, he was a great man to the Christian body across the globe, most importantly to the Vatican Roman Catholic empire,” Taiwo said.
Commenting, Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, the Secretary-General of Ogun State Muslim Council (OMC),
described death of Pope Benedict XVI as historic and reference.
Akintunde said this was because he died at the last day of a year, adding that he passed on at a day ordained by God.
“That he resigned as the Pontiff/Head of Catholicism, an exalted position on account of ill health has made him a very great and courageous man.
“He would, forever, be remembered for contributing his quota to the preaching of the Gospel and the growth of the Catholic world,” Akintunde said.
In his reactions, Bishop Amos Ogunrinde, Osun CAN Chairman, said the late Catholic Pope left behind a good legacy, which Christians worldwide and other world leaders, should emulate practically.
According to him, everyone born of a woman must surely die someday and the late Pope Benedict has come and gone to meet with his creator.
“There is a time for everything under the sun, a time to be born and a time to die (Eccl. 3: 3-4).
“Benedict served God with his whole heart while on earth and also lived an exemplary life, which is worth emulating by Christians,” Ogunrinde said.
He urged religious faithful in the country and the world entirely to use the death of Pope Benedict to draw more closer to God in their dealings.
Ogunrinde, however, prayed to God Almighty to grant the late Catholic Leader, Pope Benedict XV1, eternal rest.