Wyatt recounts the recent Pope’s visit to Africa and its supposed impact on the lives of those he interacted with. Specifically, the pope toured Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. In the tour, the pope made several stops and addressed the crowds that gathered. It was hoped that the tour will spread the message of hope and bring peace to the people he interacted with (Wyatt 2015, p. 1). The pontiff, who is the head of the Catholic Church, is a revered person in the world, and at one time during the papacy, was the international leader.
In December 2015, the pope made a maiden trip to three African countries in a tour that was largely publicized. In the entire duration that the spiritual leader was in the three countries, he conducted masses and addressed various groups including the youth and the civil society. According to many observers, the move was meant to strengthen the church’s presence in the African region, while preaching peace and tolerance. The sect leader’s message majored on repentance and spiritual growth, good governance, and accountability. Despite the general uniformity of the message, the address was tailored to fit the peculiar circumstances in certain regions. For example, in Kenya, an East African Country that has withstood the worst of terrorism activities, the charismatic leader preached on religious tolerance. The terrorists who are predominantly of Islamic faith, wreck havoc in the name of religion. In Uganda, a message of sound political governance was delivered. Similarly, in the Central African Republic, a region that has experienced civil war for decades, the leader urged people to tolerate one another and live together in harmony.
At the onset of the trip, several quarters expressed their reservations about the pope’s tour. To some, the trip was timely as it provided a good opportunity for the catholic leader to preach peace and reconciliation. On the other hand, some people felt that the pope was overstepping in his resolve to address emotive issues in society. Specifically, the move to tour the Central African Republic was criticized as it endangered the pontiff’s own life. The country had undergone decades of civil strife. Despite the mediation from lead international parties, the conflict was far from being resolved. Accordingly, the pope was expected to fail to mediate the differences.
The maiden trip to Africa awakened the religious tensions between the different sects that profess the Christian faith. As an upcoming democracy, Africa enjoys abundant freedom of worship. There are several denominations within the Christina movement. These denominations, though largely Christian, permit certain ideals while rejecting others. The birth of the protestant movement was touted to be a result of the disquiet amongst the original catholic adherents. In the visitations and stopovers, the pope met with regional heads of state. Using the platform, the pontiff addressed a number of challenges, including the unity of the Christians. It was perceived by some that the move was geared at reinforcing the supposed supremacy of the Catholic Church. Though not openly proclaimed, the visit brought distaste to some quarters due to the eminent nature it was given.
The pope’s visit to Africa marked an important step in promoting Christian unity. In his addresses, the pontiff encouraged people to live in harmony. Despite the unity calls, there was some disquiet amongst different sects that felt that the visit was being given too much eminence, a fact that reawakened the religious tensions between catholic adherents and the protestant groups. In spite of this, the visit was largely peaceful and well coordinated.
Wyatt Caroline. Pope of the Poor makes Big Impact in Africa. BBC News. Retrieved from www.bbc.com