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Pope to Ugandan bishops: promote family, peace, self-reliance

Catholic World News - March 05, 2010

Speaking on March 5 to the bishops of Uganda, who were concluding their ad limina visit to Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said that as shepherds they should remain close to their flocks, showing a paternal care for their people's needs.

The Pope praised the Ugandan bishops for their efforts to provide help for those in desperate need in their dioceses. "At the same time, all communities have a duty to strive for self-sufficiency," the Pontiff observed, encouraging the bishops to help their people find ways to improve their own economic situations.

The people of Uganda will make progress, the Pope said, if Church leaders help them to "appreciate fully the sacrament of marriage in its unity and indissolubility, and the sacred right to life." He went on to ask the bishops to uphold strong moral principles against "the seduction of a materialistic culture of individualism." Recognizing the civil war that has ravaged Uganda for decades, the Holy Father said that the bishops should promote a "lasting peace based on justice, generosity towards those in need and a spirit of dialogue and reconciliation."

During his talk Pope Benedict made a special mention of the Bududa region, the site of recent devastating landslides. He promised his prayers that God would "grant eternal rest to the souls of the deceased, and give strength and hope to all who are suffering the consequences of this tragic event."

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