Welcome to Africa, Pope Francis
It is cheerful news that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has since arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where he has begun his official visit to the continent, to be followed by a visit to South Sudan.
It is a huge blessing that after having postponed the visit earlier, the pope doggedly insisted on visiting both countries torn by political and racial crisis.
With his visit, Pope Francis has reassured the Catholic-dominated DRC that in their crisis, the Church at its highest level and other well-meaning world leaders have not abandoned them and other African countries in general.
According to a report, the pope’s trip to the DRC and then South Sudan will highlight the long-running conflicts in both countries and the rising importance of Africa to the future of the Catholic Church, for Africa is reported as the fastest-growing location for the Church, with more than 200 million worshippers.
It is an honour to the Church in Nigeria, that one of our outspoken clerics, the Most Rev. Matthew Kukah, bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, was appointed as a member of the pope’s mission to the DRC and South Sudan.
Kukah has been in the forefront of campaigns for good governance in Nigeria and human rightd. He has worked for the Vatican on issues of interreligious dialogue, building bridges and making peace across all divides.
We wish the Holy Father successful trips to his destinations and may God continue to protect him.