(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday sent a video message to the people of the Central African Republic, on the eve of his visit to the country this Saturday, November 28th.
Listen to Devin Watkins' report:
In his video message, Pope Francis told the people of the Central African Republic of the “joy which pervades me” on the occasion of his first visit to Africa and, in particular, to the CAR.
The Holy Father said, “Your dear country has for too long been affected by a violent situation and by insecurity of which many of you have been innocent victims. The goal of my visit is, above all, to bring you, in the name of Christ, the comfort of consolation and hope. I hope with all my heart that my visit may contribute, in one way or another, to alleviate your wounds and to favor conditions for a better, more serene future for Central Africa and all its inhabitants.”
Pope Francis then reminded them that the theme of his visit is “Let us pass to the other side”, saying that it invites Christian communities “to look ahead with determination and encourages each person to renew their own relationship with God and with their brothers and sisters to build a new, more just and fraternal world”.
At the heart of the Holy Father’s 6-day journey, taking him to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic is his desire to bring a message of peace, reconciliation, dialogue and the impetus to overcome internal divisions.
In war-torn CAR he will open Bangui Cathedral’s Holy Door in a powerful gesture leading up to the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
One of Pope Francis’ last commitments before he boards the Papal plane bringing him back to Rome on November 30, will be a visit to Bangui’s Central Mosque for a meeting with the Muslim community.