At the end of his pastoral visit to Uganda, from October 26-30, 2017, Cardinal Fernando Filoni made an appeal to listen to the cry “of suffering humanity,” reported the Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano on October 31.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples concluded officially the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Archdiocese of Kampala. He presided over a Mass in the Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs at Namugogno on Sunday, October 29, reminding the country’s Christians of the “commandment of love” proposed by the Gospel.
Cardinal Filoni invited to hear the cry “of the poor, of the sick, of the excluded, of migrants, of refugees, of the victims of armed conflicts and of all those whose dignity is in danger.” We must “not only not mistreat those who are in need, but we must also be attentive to the cry of the poor and go to their aid,” he said in the course of his homily.
The Cardinal spoke in particular of the numerous Ugandans that have arrived in the capital Kampala from all parts of the country, in search of work and a better life. He also talked about the hundreds of thousands of refugees of South Sudan in the Ugandan province of Gulu, seeking shelter from violence.
“We must not abandon these people, regardless of the religions to which they belong,” he said, adding that the love of Christ “in relations between individuals” can’t be exhausted but must be developed “also in the community, thus becoming social and political charity that seeks the greatest good for all,” he stressed.
Mentioning the names of three Bishops that governed the Archdiocese of Kampala, since its creation – Cardinals Emmanuel Nsubuga and Emmanuel Wamala and Monsignor Cyprian Kizito Lwanga – the Prefect invited to a new engagement in evangelization in Africa.
The aim of evangelization, he specified, is “to make the Gospel penetrate more profoundly not only in people’s heart, in an individual way, but also in society, so that socio-economic relations are increasingly impregnated by the Christian spirit, and we can build a culture of love, of reconciliation , of justice and of peace.”
On Saturday afternoon, October 28, Cardinal Filoni visited a home for the elderly, in the suburbs of Kampala, and a center for vulnerable children run by the Missionaries of the Poor, a Congregation of recent foundation, which has been working in Uganda since 1999, given the spread of AIDS.
The Cardinal met at Nakukolongo with elderly people in their rooms, and placed a wreath on the tomb of Cardinal Nsubuga (1914-1991). Then he went to Busega where, after planting a mango tree, he spent a festive moment with children, mostly orphans and sick, and encouraged the work of the Congregation’s men and women religious.