Uganda await Pontiff's visit

Ugandan government and people are eagerly awaiting the visit of Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Ugandan government and people are eagerly awaiting the visit of Pope Francis, even as it still seems uncertain due to concerns over security in the country.

The pope intends to begin his visit to Africa from Uganda next week Friday.

The visit to Uganda will be the second by a pope. The first visit of a pope to Uganda and Africa in general was made by Pope John Paul VI on July 31, 1969.

Archbishop of the Gulu Archdiocese of Uganda, John Baptist Odama, said one of the highlights of Pope Francis’ visit is to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the canonization of Ugandan martyrs by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

“He wants to visit the site where the martyrs were burned. The pope wants to visit this place as a continual sign of encouraging ecumenism in our country and in the church in general,” he said.

Odama also added that the Pope would have the opportunity to meet with Ugandan youths, while also visiting the sick.

“He will also visit one of the centers where there will be representatives of the sick brought from other parts of the country, and he will have a chance to say some words to them and greet them,” Archbishop Odama said.

He said the Catholic Church in Uganda is a vibrant one, and one of the reasons for Pope Francis’s visit is to encourage Ugandan Catholics and to praise God with them.

“Certainly the population of Catholics is quite high – 42 percent and the Anglicans are about 36 percent, the Muslims are about 14 percent and the others are for the remaining groups,” he said.

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