Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Africa Prepares to Welcome Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict will meet with representatives from African bishops' conferences in Cameroon and hand-deliver the African synod's "instrumentum laboris," or a working document.

In Angola, the Pope will join in the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the country’s evangelization. Angola's history as a former Portuguese colony has given it Christian roots. This is the second time Angola is visited by a Pope, after the 1992 visit by the late Pope John Paul II.

Africa’s local churches are full of vibrancy. The late John Paul II described it as "ripe for harvest." It is a continent whose people speak more than 800 languages and suffer from bloody national divisions, as well as unimaginable poverty and disease. For this reason, the second Synod of Bishops chose the theme of the synod to be held in Rome next October as "The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace."

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