Pope Benedict XVI said Africa needs to focus on reconciliation, justice and peace in resolving the crisis that has engulfed many nations on the continent. (Source: Daily Trust)

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wz3zgbAQK2w/Td5i79aRh-I/AAAAAAAAC6U/OzvmBtvhCS8/s1600/pope-benedict-xvi.jpgThe Pope said this yesterday in Cotonou at a mass to mark the Feast of Christ the King and to end his three-day visit to the Republic of Benin.

 

He said Africa must embrace everything that would restore hope to its people, especially in times of violence, oppression and injustice.

 

The Pontiff said the continent needs to embrace peace in its entire ramification so as to overcome many of its challenges which do not require external solutions.

 

"Today, I call on all the people of Africa to stand on one voice, for reconciliation, for justice and for peace.

"The continent has witnessed many crises that are continuing to threaten the unity of its people and its progress. So, I call on you today to emulate Christ who is the symbol of peace and the King of kings.

"So I call on Africa to unite for the sake of the weak and to forge ahead," he said.

 

The Pope urged the governments and peoples of Africa to eschew oppression and excessive show of power.

He noted that these were part of the reasons why many countries were still experiencing violence.

The mass was attended by many faithful from across the world, including a Nigerian government delegation.

In an interview, leader of the Nigerian delegation, Minister of State I for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, said the country would continue to encourage peaceful co-existence amongst its people.

 

She said that the Pope's message was in tandem with what the Jonathan administration was already doing.

The minister said the administration was doing this to ensure that peace returns to parts of the country where violence had been the order of the day.

 

Onwuliri said Nigeria's participation in the church service was an affirmation of President Jonathan's stand on religion.

On his part, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr John Kennedy-Opara, said the Pope's message was very apt. NAN

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