After the visit of the President of the United States of America, Kenyans will now turn their eyes to Vatican from where its head and head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis VI will be coming for a visit. Pope Francis VI is expected to come to Kenya in November in a tour that will also see him visit Uganda.
The Pope is expected to arrive on November 25, a Nakuru Priest told his congregation in his Sunday homily on July 26.
The priest whose name we will hold as he is not the one who communicates officially for the Catholic Church in the country said upon his arrival the Pope will be received by the President Uhuru Kenyatta as he too (the Pope) is also “a Head of a State.”
On 26 the Pope is expected to celebrate mass at Uhuru Park before meeting with priests in the country. The Pope’s itinerary also includes a meeting with the youth on November 26 at Kasarani, a day he is also scheduled to visit one of the slums in Nairobi, the priest further disclosed.
The last Pope’s visit in the country was in 1995. The then Pope, John Paul II had visited the country for the celebration of Phase 2 of the African Synod. His main host at the time was Cardinal Maurice Otunga who was the then head of the Catholic Church in Kenya.
While the Pope’s visit might also be key on building strategic and bilateral talks between Kenya and the Vatican, and thus be felt by all Kenyans, it will have a meaning more among Catholic faithful. Already there are expectations that the Pope will declare Christians who were killed during the Mau Mau war as martyrs.
The visit is thus going to arouse what one may refer to as ‘the Catholic spirit’ in the country just several months after the Catholic gathering in Nyeri in which Italian nun, Sr. Irene ‘Nyaatha’ Stephanie was beautified. It will also have economic ramifications as it will boost ‘religious tourism’ just as the Nyaatha event did.
Politically, like Obama’s, the visit will be a symbolic endorsement and a statement to Uhuru Kenyatta’s Presidency. Whether directly or indirectly, it will boost their ratings on the confidence world leaders have about him and his Deputy William Ruto.
About Pope Francis:
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis (79) was elected in March 2013. He is the 266th Pope in the Church’s history and took over from Pope Benedict XVI. As a Priest he belongs to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and once taught Literature and Psychology. He is from Argentina and is the first Pope from the America’s . His parents though are said to be of Italian ancestry. His twitter handle is @Pontifex.