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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Bishop in the Central African Republic: the people must put their hopes in the Pope's visit

2015-08-04

The Pope has made it very clear that he intends to  visit to Africa. And he has said this on more than one occasion. The first time was in January, while he was returning from his trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. In the massive gathering of priests in Rome, he repeated this desire to visit Africa. 

POPE FRANCIS
"God willing, I will visit Africa this November: First, the Central Republic of Africa, and afterwards Uganda. There's the possibility that I will visit Kenya, but this is still uncertain due to logistical problems.”

The visit will occur towards the end of the month and Monsignor Juan José Aguirre will welcome the Pope to the Central African Republic.

MSGR. JUAN JOSÉ AGUIRRE
Bishop of Bangassou (Central African Republic)
"We are very happy, very happy that the Central African Republic will be able to welcome the Pope, -not only Catholics-, Protestants and Muslims also see this visit as a divine blessing."

This Spanish bishop, a Comboni missionary, has lived in the country for more than 36 years. In these past two years, he has witnessed the violence caused by the Sélèka, a jihadist faction, and their enemies, the anti-Balaka. Both factions are equally bloodthirsty. Each of them oppresses a population already struggling to survive a devastating famine. 

MSGR. JUAN JOSÉ AGUIRRE
Bishop of Bangassou (Central African Republic)
"The Pope will find an enormous amount of poor people here who live on less than a euro a day, and yet he will find that these people are very religious.”

But the people of the Central African Republic should not be defined solely by abject poverty. The Pope will find people here who fight to survive and who deeply desire to live.

These are pictures of his diocese of Bangassou. A few days ago, the bishops of the Central African Republic met with the Pope during their visit ad limina. Monsignor Juan José Aguirre wasn't able to attend because he had had a heart attack, the third one in the past few years. Weeks later, after recovering, he visited Rome. This time he spoke with Pope Francis

MSGR. JUAN JOSÉ AGUIRRE
Bishop of Bangassou (Central Republic of Africa)
"The entire population of the Central African Republic has great hopes that the Pope merely by his presence will bless both our electoral process and its result.”

This is one of the main results people are hoping will be obtained through the Pope's visit: the election of a new president who will give the country much needed stability. Another is the disarmament of the militias, many of which are made up of kidnapped child soldiers. Despite the difficulties, as Monsignor Aguirre says, there is still hope and the country has given him a new perspective on life and faith. 

MSGR. JUAN JOSÉ AGUIRRE
Bishop of Bangassou (Central Republic of Africa)
"If I were born a second time, I would do everything the same way. Just like poet Pablo Neruda says: "I confess that I have lived.” My life has been filled with precious moments, moments that make my heart swell with gratitude.”


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