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Pope Francis in Africa: Huge crowds for Uganda Mass

On his first full day in Africa, Pope Francis insisted that religion can never be used to justify violence and lamented that “all too often, young people are being radicalized in the name of religion to sow discord and fear, and to tear at the very fabric of our societies”.

But across Bangui, as peacekeepers and military convoys patrolled the streets, residents were on edge Saturday.

Transparency International has voted the Kenyan police force as the most corrupt institution in the country every year for the last decade.

“Between the government and the Christian community, I think a combined effort will allow us to ensure the security of the Holy Father during this visit”. The capital is nearly entirely segregated, with few people traversing between the two worlds.

The pope has frequently insisted on the need for the three “Ls” – land, labor and lodging – and on Friday he focused on lodging as a critical issue facing the world amid rapid urbanization that is helping to upset Earth’s delicate ecological balance. November 26, 2015. Pope Francis told Christian and Muslim leaders in Kenya on Thursday that they have little choice but to…

“Our world has a grave social debt toward the poor who lack access to drinking water because they are denied a life consistent with their inalienable dignity”, the Pope said.

The crowd is chanting: “We love you!”

Adoum Silick, 45, acknowledged the risk in venturing to the grounds of the cathedral but said “sometimes we have to be courageous”.

Sitting on the dirt under a tent of scrap wood and tarp, she is comforted by her neighbors at the airport displaced-persons camp where she has lived for almost two years. “But we hope a visit from the pope will change that idea”. “So much sugar that we either end up being diabetic, or our country ends up diabetic”, he warned.

“They have refused to listen”, said Omar Kobine Layama, a prominent imam. In it, he recalled how from the time of the apostles “a great cloud of witnesses had been raised up to proclaim Jesus and show forth the power of the Holy Spirit”. Troops stood guard in the grasslands off the tarmac, and Francis’ bodyguards stood close.

“I want to go to auto”. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI helped win the release of 15 British sailors held in Iran. He spent the first part in Kenya, and Sunday he is scheduled to head to the Central African Republic, which is in the midst of a deadly conflict between Christians and Muslims. The Vatican spokesman, however, had estimated that at most about 500,000 people could fit in the venues.

Pope Francis will leave Uganda on Sunday for the Central African Republic, which has been gripped by cycles of violence and lawlessness that has pitted mostly Muslim rebels against Christian militias since 2013.

Francis will pray Saturday at shrines dedicated to the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic martyrs who were killed between 1885 and 1887 on the orders of a local king eager to thwart the influence of Christianity in his central Ugandan kingdom.

Francis has suggested that there is a concrete – but secret – reason behind his determination to visit the Central African Republic, telling reporters on his plane last week that he will not reveal that reason until he is on his way back to Rome.


In the early evening the pope visited the House of Charity in Kampala’s Nalukolongo neighborhood; the Good Shepherd Sisters run a home there for 102 elderly and people with severe disabilities. A month earlier, Al-Shabab also seemed to have claimed responsibility for attacks in Mandera county on the Somali border in which 12 people died. She said that all Central Africans need forgiveness and pardon, starting with herself. A family member identified the remains on the side of a nearby road. He urged them to resist practices “which foster arrogance in men, hurt or demean women and threaten the life of the innocent unborn”. “The impunity is a key driver in the conflict and all those reasonably suspected of committing crimes under worldwide law and other serious violations and abuses of human rights must be brought to justice through fair trials”.

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