This morning, Pope Francis left Kenya, the first leg of his three-country African tour. The next stops on his agenda are Uganda’s capital of Kampala and Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui.
The last stop for the Pontiff in Kenya was a private meeting with bishops, which followed his visit to the Kengami Slum and a meeting with young people.
In the lead-up to the papal visit, ZENIT had the chance to interview a bishop who was one of the lead organizers for the visit, Bishop Philip Anyolo of Homa Bay. The bishop spoke on what he hopes to be the most important fruits of the Pope’s visit.
“As Shepherds, we need a message of solidarity to Kenyans, we need prayers for the conversion of the horror perpetrators, we need a value based society,” he said.
“The Holy Father is coming to bring to us the message of hope,” Bishop Anyolo expressed, reiterating, “This is our desire.”
Bishop Anyolo’s expectations for the trip, he noted, were encouragement, inspiration and hope for the Church in Kenya.
When asked about the importance of the Pope’s trip, he said, “He is coming at a time when Kenya is experiencing a lot of challenges: religious, social, political and even economical. His person and principle of simplicity will be a powerful message to all.”
“His call for reconciliation is key in the Kenyan situation,” he said.
When asked about security concerns, he noted, “Kenyan people have been described as resilient, however the memories of the painful moments will take time.”
“There is still a lot of fear and helplessness among Kenyans. We need reassurance and hope that we shall solve the security situation soon.”