The Apostolic Nuncio de Cameroon, Archbishop Eliseo Ariotti, said this week Catholics in that country “are impatiently awaiting this historic visit by the Holy Father,” who began his trip to today and end it on March 23. The archbishop added that he hopes the visit will renew “the evangelical spirit” needed to bring about solid development and fight against poverty.
“Ever since his pastoral visit to Africa was announced, the joy of expectation has been present in Cameroon and Angola. In Cameroon this can be seen in the heart of the Catholic community and even outside it. It is a shared joy, full of hope, which gives flavor to the daily lives of all.”
The Catholics of Cameroon, Archbishop Ariotti said in an article published by the L’Osservatore Romano, “who have the honor and grace of welcoming Pope Benedict XVI in his first visit to African soil, show an exceptional spirit because it is the third time in last 30 years that they are welcoming the Vicar of Christ, the Pastor of the universal Church.”
After explaining that the country is facing challenges at many levels, such as corruption, the archbishop explained that Cameroon “offers a unique platform for addressing all of Africa and for inviting the continent to enter a phase of renewal, democratization and progress, but above all of new evangelization.”
“The Catholics of the country are aware of the fact that the Holy Father is coming to proclaim the uniqueness of the Christian life so that it may become a means of salvation for the entire African continent and a testimony for true human solidarity. Only thus will the second assembly of the special Synod of Bishops for Africa be a source of hope for the Church in Cameroon and for all of Africa,” the Nuncio said.