Pope Francis will not be coming to Uganda as earlier confirmed.
Early this month, State Minister for lands Betty Amongi said Vatican had confirmed that the Pope was to return to Uganda in July this year for the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
“The government has received a letter from the Vatican that His Holiness, Pope Francis is again returning to Uganda in July for a very important international conference. My ministry and that of Finance have been directed to renovate Namugongo Catholic Martyrs Shrine and release the funds for preparation of the Pope’s visit,” she said during the installation R.t Rev. Sanctus Linos Wanok as Bishop of Lira Diocese.
However in a press release dated February 21, 2019, Msgr John B. Kauta , the Secretary General of Uganda Episcopal Conference said the Office of the President has officially communicated that the Holy Father will not be able to attend the symposium.
“The SECAM Golden Jubilee celebration which was launched on July 29,2018 at Lubaga Cathedral, will however proceed as scheduled. The opening Mass for the climax of the celebration will be on July 23, 2019 at Lubaga Cathedral and the closing Mass will be on July 28, 2019 at Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine in Namugongo. We are expecting over 400 Bishops from all the Episcopal Conferences in Africa and Madagascar,” says Kauta.
The celebration will run under a theme, “Church, Family of God in Africa, Celebrate your Jubilee”.
Pope Francis first visited Uganda in November, 2015. He was the third Pope to visit Uganda after Pope Paul VI in July 1969 and Pope John Paul II in February 1993.
SECAM is a fruit of efforts of Africa Bishops , who during the second Vatican council (1962-1965) resolved to build a continental structure in order to unite the Church of Africa and promote collaboration in pastoral ministry. The association was officially launched on July 29, 1969 at Lubaga Cathedral by Saint Pope Paul VI.
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