Pope asks church in Africa to resist 'clouds of evil' on continent
Published: March 23, 2009
LUANDA, Angola (CNS) -- At a Mass for hundreds of thousands of Angolans, Pope Benedict XVI called on Africa to embrace the Gospel and disperse the "clouds of evil" that have brought war, ethnic rivalry, tribalism and greed to the continent. In a country devastated by 27 years of civil war, the pope quoted the biblical admonition that war can "destroy everything of value," including families, communities and works of labor. "This experience is all too familiar to Africa as a whole: the destructive power of civil strife, the descent into a maelstrom of hatred and revenge, the squandering of the efforts of generations of good people," the pope said. The Mass, celebrated March 22 on a vast esplanade in an industrial suburb of Luanda, was the liturgical highlight of his stay in Angola, and drew the biggest crowd of his weeklong visit to Africa. Some had spent the night at the site to guarantee a good seat. The pope sat beneath a curved corrugated roof that protected him from the hot sun and frequently wiped perspiration from his face with a handkerchief. Many worshippers shielded themselves with umbrellas.
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