Pope Francis has said he does not know if he will come back to Africa arguing that he is old and trips are difficult.
In a Question Answer session with journalists on his way from Africa back to Rome, Pope Francis said his best during the trip included the crowds, joy and the capacity celebrate on an empty stomach.
“Will I return to Africa? I don’t know. I am old and the trips are difficult,” he said, adding, “The moment I remember? The crowds. That joy. That capacity celebrate on an empty stomach. But for me, Africa was a surprise. I thought, God surprises us, but even Africa surprises us. There were many moments. But the crowds, they felt visited. They have a very great sense of welcome. I saw in the three nations that they had this sense of welcome because they were happy to feel visited.”
Comparing the three nation he visited, Pope Francis said Uganda is has identity of the martyrs, Kenya is little more modern desire while Central Africa Republic has a desire for peace, for reconciliation and for pardon.
“Kenya is a little more modern, developed. Uganda has the identity of martyrs. The Ugandan people, both Catholic and Anglicans, venerate the martyrs. I was at both shrines. The Anglican one, and then the Catholic. The memory of the martyrs is their ‘identity card,’ the courage to give their lives for a cause,” he said.
He added; “The Central African Republic: the desire for peace, for reconciliation, for pardon. Until four years ago they had lived together – Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims – like brothers! .I went to the Evangelicals, who work hard. And then they came to Mass in the evening. I went to the mosque. I prayed in the mosque. Even the Imam got into the pope mobile to take a ride around the small stadium. These are small gestures, is that which they want.”
Exploitation, Africa is a martyr
Pope Francis said Africa is a martyr of exploitation by the developed world who take its resources to enrich themselves.
“Africa is a victim. Africa has always been exploited by other powers…There are powers that only seek to take the great wealth of Africa, possibly the richest continent. But, they don’t think about helping to grow the nation that they may work, that all may have work,” he said. “Exploitation. Africa is a martyr, a martyr of exploitation. Those who say that from Africa come all calamities and all wars perhaps don’t understand well the damage they certain forms of development do to humanity. It’s for this that I love Africa, because Africa has been a victim of other powers.”