Pope, monarch, leadership and Nigeria (2)

on   /   in Viewpoint 12:20 am   /   Comments

OBVIOUSLY, the rumors of his purported death in an Indian hospital that was awash in the mainstream and social media until his sudden appearance last week must have damaged his self esteem and caused preventable anxiety and political tension for the good people of Enugu state.

The same applies to the governor of Cross River state,Liyel Imoke who till date is ostensibly on a long vacation since last year but allegedly managing his failing health abroad like Sullivan Chime.

Although,the duo of Chime and Imoke may not have breached the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria because they observed the due process of taking extended leave of absence from work,they need to be reminded that it is exemplary leadership quality ,respect for their lives and moral duty for them to consider stepping aside if their ill health would be exacerbated by the burden of office and if their long absence from work any time in future would cause avoidable anxiety to their family,friends and political constituents.

While Pope Benedict XVI might have renounced the Papacy on account of failing health,King Edward VIII of England did it about seventy seven(77)years ago for love-something monarchs don’t do.

Interestingly,there is a resemblance which the abdication speech by King Edward VIII on January 12th,1936 bears with the renunciation speech of Pope Benedict XVI ,february,11th 2013 .In a radio broadcast,the king announced “l have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king,as l would wish to do,without the help and support of the woman l love”The difference in the speeches is that while King Edward abdicated the British throne for love of a lady,Pope Benedict is renouncing the Papacy due to advanced age and love of the church.

According to history of the English royalty,the abdication paved the way for the king to marry the love of his life,Mrs Wallis Simpson,an American socialite who was previously divorced and married to Mr Simpson.The king’s brother, Bertie took over the throne but when he died,as he had no sons but only daughters,and Edward had no offspring,the eldest daughter of the late king,Queen Elizabeth II , became the queen in 1952.This perhaps,explains why a queen instead of a king is the monarch in England today.

Similar to Pope Benedict’s situation,the British Prime Minister at that time , Stanley Baldwin felt that the monarchy’s action threatened to weaken the monarchy like the Catholics are now concerned that the Holy Father’s renunciation is taking the church into paths unknown in over six centuries for which the Vatican is in quandary.

Coincidentally,like King Edward VIII ,who historians testify “just wanted to be like everyone else” by falling in love and marrying a two time divorcee , who could have become the Queen of England had he not been forced to abdicate,Pope Benedict XVI might have made a decision to concentrate on his intellectual and scholarly life as he is probably the only Pope in contemporary history to have written a book thereby relieving him self of the monumental task of administration of over one billion Catholics world wide which being the Pope entails.

Then again,we may never really know until and unless the Pope in retirement authors another book detailing the reasons for making the amazing decision.

Be that as it may, it seems to me that the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to renounce office due to incapacity arising from advancing age,is a leadership decision which all leaders and indeed men and women of goodwill across the world must strive to emulate for the good of the organization ,entity or government that they lead.

Cardinal Arinze put it succinctly in his reaction to the Pope’s resignation by saying on Youtube “Pope Benedict may be teaching us more than we realize”. How true!

Mr.   MAGNUS ONYIBEe,  wrote from Asaba, Delta State.

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