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USAID officials: Pope Francis in a unique position to help Central African Republic

The biggest question ahead of the Pope's trip to the Central African Republic is whether he'll even be able to go.  Although he is currently planning to make a stop in Bangui, security concerns may prevent or alter his visit. A USAID official with extensive knowledge of the Central African Republic said that such a high profile visit is unprecedented in recent history. MARK BRINKMOELLER USAID Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives "And again, it touches on so many of the themes of this pontificate. Which is, those three leaders working together across all those ways. It is in some ways...Who else could go, and make the impact, other than this particular Pope? The country has been torn apart by civil war since 2012. Politicians have sought to exploit religious tension, though religious leaders have worked to create peace between Christians and Muslims. Another USAID official suggested the Pope's message can bridge the divides between both religions. DR. ARIEL PABLOS-MENDEZ USAID Global Health Bureau "In that sense the Pope Francis has been incredible in rising beyond any religious structure and inviting everyone to think, as human beings, about what is most important. His conviction for life, for the dignity of humans beings, is a message that has really resonated everywhere. It's amazing how it resonated not only within but beyond the Catholic Church. And for us it is encouraging to see him in that leadership role.â? Pope Francis plans to land in the Central African Republic on November 29th and spend one night there. If the visit goes forward, he will visit a refugee camp and open the Holy Door in Bangui's cathedral.  ATO MG S -PR: Up:ATO