Pope Receives Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

Two Leaders Discuss Good Holy See-State Relations, Conflicts in Africa

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In the Vatican apostolic palace today, Pope Francis received President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda.

He was accompanied by the First Lady, Janet Museveni, as well ministers and other dignitaries.

During the “cordial discussions”, the Vatican said “certain aspects of life in the country and the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Uganda were highlighted.”

The statement added that “particular reference” was placed on the “fundamental contribution of the Catholic Church and her collaboration with institutions in the educational, social and healthcare sectors.”

Furthermore, the importance of “peaceful co-existence between the various social and religious components of the country was underlined,” the Vatican said.

Finally, mention was made of “various questions of an international nature, with special attention to the conflicts affecting certain areas of Africa.”

During the exchange of gifts, the President gave Francis a copy of a book entitled `Sowing the Mustard Seed’ and a portrait of Crested Crane, Uganda’s symbol. The Pope gave President Museveni a medal of St. Martin.

President Museveni subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During his visit to Rome, the Ugandan head of state yesterday visited the Uganda Martyrs’ Catholic church in the city, during which he was shown relics from some of the martyrs who were canonised on October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

In a tweet, President Museveni said Monday that Pope Francis had «expressed willingness» to visit Uganda on the 50th anniversary of the canonization.

Noting that Christians make up 86% of Uganda’s population, Museveni highlighted to worshippers the extent to which Christian organisations have contributed to the country’s social, health and education sectors. 

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