Pope to visit Cameroon and Angola

 The Holy See has published the programme of Pope Benedict XVI's first apostolic visit to Africa in March.

The Holy Father will visit Cameroon and Angola from March 17 to 23. He will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 10am on Tuesday March 17, arriving at 4pm in Yaounde, Cameroon, where he will be greeted by the authorities.

On Wednesday March 18, the Pope will pay a courtesy visit to Cameroonian President Paul Biya. Later he will meet with the country's bishops in the church of Christ-Roi in Tsinga, and then celebrate Vespers with the local clergy and representatives of ecclesial movements and of other Christian confessions in the basilica of Marie Reine des Apotres.

At the apostolic nunciature in Yaounde on Thursday, March 19, the Holy Father will meet with representatives of the Muslim community of Cameroon. In the morning he will celebrate Mass at Yaounde's Amadou Ahidjo Stadium, to mark the publication of the "Instrumentum Laboris" of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

That afternoon the Pope will meet with sick people in the Cardinal Paul Emile Leger Centre. Later he will address members of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

On Friday, March 20, the Pope will travel to the Angolan capital Luanda where he will visit President José Eduardo dos Santos and address political leaders and the diplomatic corps. In the evening he is due to meet with bishops of Angola and Santo Tome in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Luanda.

On Saturday March 21, Benedict XVI will celebrate morning Mass in Luanda's church of Sao Paulo and at 4.30pm he will meet with young people in the stadium of Coquieros.

On Sunday March, 22 he will celebrate Mass with bishops of Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa at Cimangola. That afternoon in the parish of Santo Antonio in Luanda he will meet with Catholic movements for the promotion of women.

The pope will leave for Rome on Monday March, 23, at 10.30am.

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