Angola - Church – Pope 
Pope Benedict XVI begins a visit to Angola 
APA - Luanda (Angola)
Pope Benedict XVI arrived Friday in Luanda, the Angolan capital for a three-day pastoral visit to Angola.

The President of Angola, Josť Eduardo dos Santos, his wife Ana Paula, cabinet members and church authorities of the country welcomed the Pope upon the landing of his plane on the runway of the "February 4" international airport in the Angolan capital.

Arriving from Yaounde, Cameroon, where he handed over an "Instrumentum Laboris" (preparatory document of the Second Synod for Africa, scheduled for October in the Vatican), Pope Benedict XVI will speak about the relationship between the Catholic Church and the government. He will also listen to the concerns of the Angolan state.

It will also be about improving the Church-state relations for the well being of the Angolan people, as pointed out by the Apostolic Nuncio D. Angelo Becciu.

On Thursday, the Holy Father dedicated his homily to the poor and victims of violence in Africa, also referring to the "adverse effects of globalisation on the traditional African life."

In a continent currently witnessing an accelerated expansion of Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the Church's position on abortion, asking families to "give priority to life as a gift from God."

On Saturday morning, the Holy Father will celebrate mass with the bishops, priests, lay preachers and catechists of Angola and Sao Tome in the Sao Paulo church of Luanda.

He will discuss with youths at the "dos Coqueiros” municipal stadium in the evening.

In addition to the mass that he will preside over on Sunday morning at the Cimangola square, where over 50,000 people are expected. Pope, Benedict XVI will also celebrate mass with Catholic women at the Santo Antonio Parish, in the Cazenga municipality in the evening.

The Pope’s visit to Angola will end on 23 March.

2009-03-20 19:55:54

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