On his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis delivered very strong messages against economic colonialism, calling it a new kind of slavery. He said that economically developed countries choose to ignore their own injustices.
It has become a paradox: the fruits of the land become 'foreign' to its inhabitants.
Africa is not a mine to be exploited or a soil to be plundered.
On the second day of his trip, the Pope listened to the testimonies of victims of the war in East Democratic Republic of Congo. The conflict has raged on for 25 years and claimed three million victims.
I was kept as a sex slave and abused for three months. Every day, five to ten men abused each of us. We were made to eat corn paste and the flesh of the people who had been killed. Sometimes they mixed people's flesh with the meat of animals—this was our daily food.
Pope Francis prayed with the victims as they laid objects from their attackers at the foot of a cross symbolizing their forgiveness. The objects included machetes, hammers and even mats where women were raped.
In South Sudan, the Pope highlighted the role of women who care and provide for their families in spite of the violence they face. He said they are the country's future.
Mothers, and women in general, are the key to transforming the country. If they are given the right opportunities, through their resourcefulness and their attitude of cherishing life, they will have the ability to change the face of South Sudan.
Please protect, respect, value and honor every woman.
At the ecumenical prayer meeting for peace, Pope Francis, together with Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, told the South Sudanese that being a Christian means making a clear commitment to peace.
Those who follow Christ always choose peace. Those who unleash war and violence betray the Lord and deny His Gospel.
'That you love one another as I have loved you.' This is Jesus' commandment, which contradicts every tribal view of religion.
These are the main messages of Pope Francis' 40th apostolic journey, with a strong ecumenical element, as the Catholic, Anglican and Scottish Presbyterian churches brought together more than half of the Christians in South Sudan.