Preparing to depart Cameroon for Angola, the second stop of his African visit, the Holy Father addressed the country’s President Paul Biya, along with civil and religious leaders. He recalled his stay in Cameroon and urged the officials to “seize the moment the Lord has given you,” in order to bring “healing and peace to your communities and your society.”
The Holy Father delivered a brief address at the Nsimalen airport expressing thanks for the warm welcome he received in the country and for the efforts made to ensure the success of his visit.
In addition, he encouraged his audience to continue praying that the upcoming African bishops’ Synod will be a time of grace for the Church in Africa and also “a time of renewal and rededication to the mission to bring the healing message of the Gospel to a broken world."
Moving on to recall moments of his stay in Cameroon, he mentioned his visit to the Cardinal Leger Centre where “it was most moving to observe the care that is taken of the sick and the disabled, some of the most vulnerable members of our society. That Christ-like compassion is a sure sign of hope for the future of the Church and for the future of Africa."
He also spoke of his meeting with representatives of the Muslim community. "As we continue on our journey towards greater mutual understanding," he said, "I pray that we will also grow in respect and esteem for one another, and strengthen our resolve to work together to proclaim the God-given dignity of the human person, a message that an increasingly secularized world needs to hear."
Finally the Pope highlighted "the historic moment of the promulgation of the 'Instrumentum Laboris' (working document) of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. Truly this is a moment of great hope for Africa and for the whole world," he said as he invited the people of Cameroon "to seize the moment the Lord has given you. Answer His call to bring reconciliation, healing and peace to your communities and your society.”
"Work to eliminate injustice, poverty and hunger wherever you encounter it!" he cried.
Upon the completion of his remarks, the Holy Father boarded his aircraft and departed for the Angolan capital Luanda.