Pope Francis will embark this week on a six-day trip to three African nations -- Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic -- in his first trip to the continent.
Central African Republic
Comboni Fr. Moses Otii Alir recounts recent violence around Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bangui where Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Nov. 29-30.
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Religious leaders in the Central African Republic have predicted the pope's upcoming visit could reconcile opposing factions, three years after a Muslim-led rebellion plunged the country into civil war.
Synod remarks: Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel said the Synod of Bishops should identify the position of the church “without condemning anybody with different views."
Catholic leaders in the Central African Republic said their help for Muslim rebels is part of an effort to promote interreligious reconciliation in the war-torn country.
"We're ready to assist everyone in difficulty, whatever their faith or affiliation," said Msgr. Elysee Guedjande, national director of the church's Caritas aid organization.
"The two main fronts aren't only military forces -- they also consist of uprooted and dispossessed people who need to be listened to. The church will come to their aid where it can."
Faith and Justice: "It wasn't all Muslims against all Christians in the country. ... This is not, in fact, a religious war."
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Faith and Justice: The news around the world is tragic and depressing. Our choices are: do nothing, use diplomacy, impose sanctions, or intervene militarily. Are there other options?