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Pope’s Message to Central African Republic

“I will have at heart to support interreligious dialogue and to encourage peaceful coexistence in your country. I know that this is possible, because we are all brothers”

Here is a translation of the French-language message Pope Francis sent by video to the Central African Republic.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Central African Republic,

A few days before the voyage that will bring me among you, I wish to tell you the joy that dwells in me, and already to greet each one of you with the greatest affection, regardless of your ethnic group or religion. It is the first time in my life that I will come to the African Continent, so lovely and rich in its nature, its populations and its cultures, and I expect beautiful discoveries and enriching meetings. For too long your dear country has experienced a situation of violence and insecurity, of which many of you have been innocent victims. The purpose of my visit is, first of all, to bring you, in the name of Jesus, the comfort of consolation and of hope. I hope with all my heart that my visit can contribute, in one way or another, to soothe your wounds and to open a more serene future for Central Africa and all its inhabitants.

The theme of this voyage will be: let us pass to the other shore. It is a theme that invites your Christian communities to look ahead resolutely, and to encourage each one to renew his/her relation with God and with brothers and sisters to build a more just and more fraternal world. I will have the joy, notably, of opening for you – somewhat ahead of time – the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will be for each one, I hope, the providential occasion of genuine forgiveness, to receive and to give, and of renewal in love.

It is as a messenger of peace that I come to you. I will have at heart to support interreligious dialogue and to encourage peaceful coexistence in your country. I know that this is possible, because we are all brothers.

I ask you to pray for me. I implore the help of the Virgin Mary and I say to you see you soon.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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