November 23, 2011. (Romereports.com)
During the general audience, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about his recent papal trip to the nation of Benin.
The country recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of its evangelization. The pope asked followers to look at the Church in Africa as a sign of strength in faith.Benedict XVI“I ask you to join me in commending all Christ's followers in Africa to the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Africa.”
Africa has been the site of the Catholic Church's most rapid growth in the world. The Catholic population of sub-Saharan Africa went from 1.9 million in the year 1900 to 139 million in 2000.
Benedict XVI noted the importance of this rapid growth, saying it will help to turn a new page in the history of Africa. Benedict XVI“Their commitment to the spread of the Gospel and their efforts to build communion, peace and solidarity they can become protagonists of a new season of hope for that great Continent.”
Benedict XVI also mentioned the document Africae Munus that he signed during his recent trip. It lays out the future course of the Church in Africa toward reconciliation, justice, and peace.
At the end of the audience, the pope greeted different pilgrims, including a group of Nigerians who share a border with Benin.