Pope to Bring Good News to Africa

Will Travel This Week to Cameroon and Angola

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- When Benedict XVI travels to Cameroon and Angola this week, he will bring with him Christ and the Good News.

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, days before he will depart for Africa on his first apostolic journey to the continent.

The Pontiff will arrive in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on Tuesday, March 17, and return to Rome on Monday, March 23. During his trip the Holy Father will deliver the “instrumentum laboris” (guidelines) for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October in the Vatican.

Benedict XVI will also visit Luanda, Angola, a country he said today that «after a long civil war, has found peace again and is now called to rebuild itself in justice.»

«With this visit,» the Holy Father said, «I intend to embrace the whole African continent: its thousands of differences and profound religious soul; its ancient cultures and its toilsome road to development and reconciliation; its grave problems, its painful wounds and its enormous possibilities and hopes.»

He continued: «I intend to confirm the African Catholics in faith, to encourage the Christians in their ecumenical commitment, and bring to all the announcement of peace that the Lord has entrusted to his Church.»


The Pontiff said he leaves for the continent knowing he had «nothing else to propose and give to those whom I will meet if not Christ and the Good News of his cross, mystery of supreme love, of divine love that defeats all human resistance and in the end makes forgiveness and love of enemies possible.»

«This is the grace of the Gospel that is capable of transforming the world; this is the grace that can renew Africa, because it generates an irresistible power of peace and of deep and radical reconciliation,» he added.

«The Church does not pursue economic, social and political objectives,» the Pope said. «The Church proclaims Christ, certain that the Gospel can touch the hearts of all and transform them, renewing persons and society from within.»

Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, noted that during the trip he will celebrate the feast of his patron St. Joseph, who is also the patron of the universal Church.

«To the heavenly intercession of this great saint I entrust this upcoming pilgrimage and the peoples of all of Africa, with the challenges that face them and the hopes that animate them,» he said. «I think especially of the victims of hunger, disease, injustices, of the fratricidal conflicts and of every form of violence that, unfortunately, continues to strike adults and children, without sparing missionaries, priests, religious, and volunteers.»

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