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Pope shows special concern for Africa, says apostolic nuncio

 Plans for a second special synod of bishops dedicated to Africa is clear proof of Pope Benedict's deep concern for the continent, the Vatican envoy in Nairobi has said. Addressing a huge congregation, led by their bishops at Nairobi's Holy Family Minor Basilica on June 29 during the occasion of the celebration of the election to the Pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin said: "during these days we have been informed about the convening of a special synod dedicated to Africa and this gives the proof that Pope Benedict the sixteenth as His predecessor is very concerned about the future of this continent." He observed that the works of preparation of the synod will be initiated in these next days with a special consultation of all the Bishops conferences of Africa, so as to present also the reflection upon the necessities of the people of God. At the dawn of the twenty first century, it is important for the Church n Africa to consider the future of this continent and in particular the importance of the relations with the different religions, stressed Archbishop Lebeaupin, adding: "Without a doubt, the formation of the people of God and in particular through the sacrament of reconciliation brings the real justice and real peace." The Church, he further observed, is called to play a prophetic role of reconciliation. The Holy Father shows a special interest in the future of Kenya, which is an example and instrument on the continent, committed to promoting the common good in the light of the Christian principles of service, pointed the apostolic nuncio, adding, "His Holiness is close to all of you and assures you that you are present in his prayers and concern as the Successor of Peter."