Malta's Bishops recall Pope Benedict's humility, urge prayers

Bishops Paul Cremona and Charles Scicluna this afternoon urged the faithful to pray for the Church, Pope Benedict and the Cardinals who will meet to vote for his successor.

They made their comments

at the Archbishop’s residence in Attard.

Mgr Cremona said that like the rest of the world, they were shocked by this morning’s announcement that the Pope would retire.

Mgr Cremona said Pope Benedict was a Pope who loved Malta. He had met him about four times and he always asked many questions about Malta.

Mgr Cremona recalled the Pope’s visit to Malta in 2010, saying that something which came through was the humility of His Holiness.

For example, after his call at the Palace, upon seeing a number of children with disability, Pope Benedict had gone up to them to greet them personally before boarding his Popemobil, he said.

Mgr Scicluna said this morning’s announcement was a surprise, but he recalled how the Pope had once told an interviewer that when a Pope felt that he did not have the strength to perform his duties, he had a right, and a duty, to retire. That was exactly what he had said this morning.

He too recalled the Pope’s humility. When Pope John Paul II died and the then Cardinal Razinger, like the other heads of department, stopped being the heads of their department, he had gone to the Vatican and actually asked a porter whether he could go to his own office, he said. He then requested permission to speak to his deputy, Mgr Amato.

Mgr Scicluna said prayers will be said in Malta’s Churches this evening and Bishop Mario Grech will lead Mass at Ta’ Pinu at 6.30 p.m.




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