Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to Africa

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31 January - 5 February 2023 ISBN 9966-60-274-9; Year of Publication 2023; 136 pages Read more

Dear brothers and sisters, I visited two African countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Congo is a land rich in resources and bloodied by a war that never ends. It is like a diamond, but this diamond has become a source of contention, of violence, and paradoxically of the impoverishment of the people. It is a dynamic that is also found in other African regions: a continent that has been colonised, exploited, plundered. In the face of all this I said two words. The first is negative: "Enough!" Stop exploiting Africa! There is the notion that) "Africa must be exploited": enough of this! The second is positive: together, together with dignity, all together, and with mutual respect, together in the name of Christ, our hope, to go forward. Do not exploit; go forth together.

The visit to South Sudan, had a very special character, expressed by the motto that echoed Jesus' words: I pray that they may all be one (cf. Jn 17:21). It was an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace, made together with the leaders of two Churches historically present in that land: the Anglican Communion and the Church of Scotland. In the Eucharistic celebration, the final act of the visit to South Sudan and of the entire Journey, I echoed the Gospel, encouraging Christians to be "salt and light" in that sorely troubled land. God places his hope not in the great and the powerful, but in the small and the humble. And this is God's way of doing. - Pope Francis, General Audience, Wednesday, 8 February 2023.

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