President of Uganda invites Pope Benedict to visit

.- The visit of Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has provided the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, with the chance to extend an invitation for Pope Benedict to visit the East African country.

Cardinal Martino has been in Uganda to help introduce a new book, The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, and to help convene the Young Catholic Students International Council.

Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, the Vice-President, announced that Museveni had directed him to ask Cardinal Martino, to extend the request to the Holy Father, reported the news site New Vision.

"He (Museveni) rarely smiles, but when I told him about the visitor (Martino), his face lit up and he asked me to tell the cardinal to call the Pope to Uganda."

"I think very soon we shall host another Pope," he added.

If the visit materializes, Benedict will be the third Pope to step on Ugandan soil. The last pope to visit was Pope John Paul II in February of 1993.

At the launch of the book, Cardinal Martino called on Ugandans to defend the right to life and to give respect to justice and peace, saying they were vital for promoting reconciliation throughout the country.

Bukenya bought a copy of the book and said he would give it to President Museveni.

"I have read more than one chapter of this book. It is a very vital document to be consulted by policy makers because they play a big role in decision-making for this country," the Vice-President added.

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