A new Pope and Africa

Expectations are rising as regards the new Pope and Africa:

Jesuit priest Pete Henriot recommends that the new pope should support a process of “interculturation”, that is, adapting the global liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church into the African context. “We need an encouragement that says, ‘Well, try different things. The liturgy does not have to be the way it is in Rome or in Germany, because it is being performed in Africa,” Henriot said.

Will the new pope have something new to say about birth control?

Another issue the new pope will have to deal with is the position of the church on the use of condoms and other contraceptives. “Many young people here believe that condoms can protect from HIV and AIDS. They do not understand why the church does not allow them to use condoms,” Caroline Kaboko said.

Many observers in Africa and abroad hope that, on this issue, the new pope will not follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. On his first trip to Africa in 2009, he made his position on the issue very clear. “HIV and AIDS are a tragedy that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms which can even increase the problem”, he told reporters on the plane even before it had landed on African soil.


Catholic church in rural Africa


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