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An important lesson to learn from Pope Benedict: KNOW WHEN TO QUIT FOR LOVE OF THE PEOPLE YOU SERVE

(Msgr. John K. Aniagwu)

“One more lesson that I believe we can learn from Pope Benedict is knowing when to quit. 

Pope Benedict shocked everyone when he decided to resign from the Papacy.  But he was just being honest; honest to God, to the Church, and to himself. 

He knew that his physical and emotional strength could no longer carry the burden of day-to-day running of the affairs of the Church.  He did not want the Church to be adversely affected by his condition.  He decided to quit the Papacy, something that no other Pope had done in 600 years. 

That was another demonstration of his love for the Church.  The Church should not suffer because of his personal ambition to cling to power.”

“Many of us need to learn this all-important lesson from Pope Benedict.  When your body and your mind tell you that you are no longer equal to the demands of a particular office, then, for goodness sake, let go.  Don’t insist on occupying that office, whether you are equal to it or not.  If you do, you are selfish.  You don’t care about the people that you are supposed to be serving.  You don’t love them.  You only love yourself.  And you will die loving yourself. “

“I believe that our African political leaders, in particular, need to learn this lesson.  They should stop imposing themselves on people when they themselves know and everyone else knows that they are physically, emotionally, intellectually and morally incapable of occupying an office. 

Public office is not your birthright.  Nobody owes it to you.  Get that into your head, and get out!  Learn from Pope Benedict.”

(Extract from sermon preached  by Msgr. John Aniagwu during the memorial Mass for Pope Benedict XVI at Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, on 2 January, 2023).

Courtesy of  the National Directorate of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja.

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