Rorate Caeli

The Christian message always brings hope

I come among you as a pastor, I come to confirm my brothers and sisters in the faith. This was the role that Christ entrusted to Peter at the Last Supper, and it is the role of Peter’s successors. When Peter preached to the multitudes in Jerusalem at Pentecost, there were visitors from Africa present among them. And the witness of many great saints from this continent during the first centuries of Christianity – Saint Cyprian, Saint Monica, Saint Augustine, Saint Athanasius, to name but a few – guarantees a distinguished place for Africa in the annals of Church history. 

Right up to the present day, waves of missionaries and martyrs have continued to bear witness to Christ throughout Africa, and today the Church is blessed with almost a hundred and fifty million members. How fitting then, that Peter’s successor should come to Africa, to celebrate with you the life-giving faith in Christ that sustains and nourishes so many of the sons ad daughters of this great continent! 
Even amid the greatest suffering, the Christian message always brings hope. The life of Saint Josephine Bakhita offers a shining example of the transformation that an encounter with the living God can bring to a situation of great hardship and injustice. In the face of suffering or violence, poverty or hunger, corruption or abuse of power, a Christian can never remain silent. The saving message of the Gospel needs to be proclaimed loud and clear, so that the light of Christ can shine into the darkness of people’s lives.
Benedict XVI
Welcoming ceremony - Yaoundé, Cameroon
March 17, 2009

For continuing coverage of the Papal visit to Africa, visit the special websites of Radio Vaticana and of the Holy See.


  1. Let's just hear some of the wolves spin this as "modernist" propaganda...

  2. Anonymous1:00 AM

    According to his biography, Africa was one of Archbishop Lefebvre's great successes. Where he worked, black magic and witchcraft nearly disappeared, and Catholicism flourished.

    And then came ecumenism.

  3. Anonymous2:31 AM

    Certainly all of us traditionalists can note a marked difference in the address given by Pope Benedict XVI compared to the addresses given by his predecessor when he visited Africa, or anywhere for that matter.

  4. Anonymous3:45 AM

    It's nice to hear the words of a Pope who is very much confident and aware that he is the Pope.

  5. Anonymous12:28 PM

    "Today the Church is blessed with almost a hundred and fifty million members."

    Yes, Joe, Archbishop Lefevbre and his brother Renee were responsible for the evangelization of great parts of Africa, particularly Gabon, as missionaries for the once great order, The Holy Ghost Fathers.
    On 14 September 1955, the Apostolic Vicariate of Dakar became an archdiocese, and the Archbishop became its first Metropolitan Archbishop.

    On June 5, 1960, he was appointed President of the Episcopal Commission for French-speaking West Africa.

    In effect, Archbiship was effective in establishing a Catholic hierarchy in Africa. The government of Gabon several years ago issued a commemorative stamp in honor of the great work, both spiritual & material that the
    Archbishop accomplished.

  6. Anonymous1:22 PM

    The blog administrators should have a look over on the Vatican website to see the latest statement by Guy Lombardo, um, I mean, Federico Lombardi, on the Popes' recent remarks on AIDS. Look especially at the second one-sentence paragraph. Lombardo was the same chap who had to retract a statement he made about Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. It looks as if it's time for spring cleaning at the Vatican.



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