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Africa inspired by papal visit, reports Cardinal Arinze

November 30, 2011

During his trip to Benin earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued a challenge to Africans to take control of their own future. “They have the strength to do it,” a prominent African prelate told L’Osservatore Romano, but he “will they ever be allowed to?”

Cardinal Francis Arinze, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, told the Vatican newspaper: “The only help that the African people really need is to be allowed the conditions to rise up and walk on their own.”

However, the Nigerian cardinal continued, those conditions cannot be created by Africans themselves. He reminded L’Osservatore that “much of of the evil which afflicts the continent was not caused by the African people but was due to the egotism of new colonizers.” Even today, he said, multinational corporations have more control over some African commodities than the people of the countries where those resources are found.

Cardinal Arinze said that the papal visit had brought a new sense of purpose and enthusiasm to Africa's people, and especially Africa's Christians. The Pope, he said, gave new confidence to Africa and "reignited in the depths of its soul the light of hope."


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