KAMPALA OCTOBER 9, 2015 (CISA) – The Catholic bishops of Uganda has urged the faithful to prepare in a special way for the pope’s visit.
In a statement signed by Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Chairman of Uganda Episcopal Conference, the bishops called on all Catholics to, “undertake appropriate spiritual preparation.”
The bishops urged the faithful to do acts of charity towards the poor and to practice works of penance so that they can receive the Papal blessing in a worthy manner.
“Most importantly, let us make every effort to reconcile and love one another as Christ has loved us (Jn 13:34),” the bishops said.
The bishops added that specific indications and directives on how to go about this would be issued at national and diocesan levels.
“As a common gesture which will unite us all in prayer, we ask that before the final blessing of every Mass, as well as in our daily personal, family or community prayer, we recite one ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Glory be to the Father….7 for the intentions of the Pope and the success of his visit.
“As we look forward to the visit of the Holy Father, let us pray for spiritual renewal while gratefully emphasizing the blessings, which include the gift of the Uganda Martyrs and the sacrifice of the missionaries,” the statement said.
The bishops urged the faithful to pay attention to the alarming gap and contradictions between the faith they profess and the life they live, as well as the gospel and some traditional African practices such as polygamy, cohabitation, trial marriage, witchcraft and human sacrifice.
“Conversely, we are beset by challenges to which we, as Church, need to pay particular attention as we await the visit of His Holiness the Pope. We draw your attention to the alarming gap and. While many Catholics recognize the sacredness of marriage, many are non-compliant to the demands of Christian marriage,” he said.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Uganda November 27-29.