.- With less than two months before Pope Benedict XVI travels to Africa, the Vatican has published the itinerary for the March 17-23 visit.
On Tuesday, March 17, the Holy Father will depart from Rome’s Fiumicino airport at 10 a.m. and will arrive at 4 p.m. in Yaounde, Cameroon where he will be greeted by authorities.
The next day, he will visit the president of Cameroon at the Palais de l'Unite in Yaounde before meeting with the country's bishops in the church of Christ-Roi in Tsinga. He will then celebrate Vespers with both the local clergy and with representatives of ecclesial movements and of other Christian confessions in the basilica of Marie Reine des Apotres.
In the apostolic nunciature in Yaounde early on Thursday, March 19, the Holy Father will meet with representatives of the Muslim community of Cameroon. Later that morning he is scheduled to celebrate Mass at Yaounde's Amadou Ahidjo stadium, to mark the publication of the "Instrumentum Laboris" of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. In the afternoon, at 4:30 p.m., he will meet with the sick in the Cardinal Paul Emile Leger Centre and will pronounce an address before members of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.
On Friday, March 20, the Pope will travel to the Angolan capital, Luanda, where he is due to arrive at 12.45 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony at the airport, he will visit the president of the Republic of Angola in the presidential palace where, at 5.45 p.m. he will also deliver an address to political leaders and the diplomatic corps. Later that evening, he will meet with bishops of Angola and Santo Tome in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Luanda.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass in Luanda's church of Sao Paulo before meeting with young people in the stadium of Coquieros that evening.
The Holy Father will celebrate Mass on Sunday with bishops of IMBISA (Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa) at Cimangola. That afternoon, in the parish of Santo Antonio in Luanda, he will meet with Catholic movements for the promotion of women.
Finally, on Monday, March 23, the Pope will leave Luanda for Rome, where his plane is due to land at 6 p.m.