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Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Pilgrimage to Uganda

31st July - 2nd August 1969

Blessed Pope Paul VI was a pilgrim to Uganda on his 8th apostolic journey.

On his first pilgrimage to Africa, Pope Paul VI was welcomed at Entebbe Airport on 31 July 1969, where he greeted the people of Africa and Uganda. The Holy Father then celebrated Mass in Kampala (at the conclusion of the Symposium organized by the Bishops of Africa) before meeting with President Milton Obote. Friday 1 August began with the Episcopal ordination of 12 Bishops in Kololo. Papa Paolo VI then met with: the members of Parliament of Uganda, the Diplomatic Corps, the faithful in the Parish of Nzambia, the sick in the Hospital of Mulogo, the faithful of the village of Mengo, those at the centre for human promotion, the sick in the Hospital of Rubaga, members of Catholic Action and other Catholic Associations of Uganda, members of the Catholic Church in Uganda and, finally, with dignitaries and representatives of Islam (quite a day of meetings!) On his final day of pilgrimage, Paul VI visited the Shrine of Namugongo, met with members of the Anglican Church of Uganda and then the civil & religious authorities of Kampala, before giving a final address to the faithful of Uganda in the Cathedral of Rubaga ahead of the Farewell ceremony.


Pope Paul VI's Greetings to the people of Africa and Uganda
at the Welcome Ceremony, Entebbe International Airport - Thursday, 31 July 1969 - in English & Italian

"This blessed moment, for the first time in history, the Successor of Peter as Vicar of Christ sets foot upon the soil of Africa. We give thanks to God for this great favour, and for this new meeting with the beloved African people, whom We came to know, admire, and love, during Our visit to this vast Continent while Archbishop of Milan, and also by the visits paid Us in Rome by African Heads of State, Ambassadors, Bishops, Priests, and distinguished lay men and women.

Thanks be to God also for the marvels of His grace, poured out abundantly upon this land, and for the generous response of Africa to the Gospel message. To these, We bear witness by Our pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Martyrs of Uganda, whose blood bathed the Cross of Christ planted by the first Missionaries, and brought honour, renown, and the merit of love’s highest testimony to all of Africa.

Our prayers today rise to God that Africa may flower forth with all the riches of its culture and noble traditions, advancing with ever longer strides upon the road of progress, “attracted to adopt new ways of life, introduced by science and technology” (Africae Terrarum, No. 13). The Church, you may be sure, will not remain a passive spectator. Already Church leaders have exhorted clergy, missionaries, and all Christians, to collaborate actively in each Nation’s efforts towards economic and social development. For Development is the new name of Peace, «To wage war on misery and to struggle against injustice is to promote, along with improved conditions, the human and spiritual progress of all men, and therefore the common good of humanity» (Populorum progressio, No. 76).

To all, Christians and non-Christians alike, may Our coming to this Continent bear humble witness to Our sincere affection for Africa. May Our presence here, through the intercession of the holy Martyrs of Uganda, stir up that immense movement of brotherly love, which can transform the peace and progress of peoples from a difficult ideal into a glorious reality.

God save Uganda!
God bless Africa!"

Papa Paolo VI's Homily at Mass at the conclusion of the Symposium
organised by the Bishops of Africa, Kampala - Thursday, 31 July 1969 - in English, French & Italian

"Lords Cardinals, Venerable Brothers,
members of the Faithful, and Sons of Africa present here today:

To all of you, Our reverent and affectionate greeting! Our greeting is that of a Brother, a Father, a Friend, a Servant, and at this moment of your Guest. To you We express Our greeting as Bishop of Rome, as Successor of Saint Peter, as Vicar of Christ, as Pontiff of the Catholic Church-as, finally, We have the good fortune to be on African soil, the first Pope to do so. And in Our greeting is also included that of the entire Catholic fraternity; with Saint Paul We can say: “All the Churches of Christ greet you” (Rom 16, 16)!

To you, first of all, Lords Cardinals of this Continent, this greeting is addressed. We are happy and honoured to have you as members of the Sacred College, as Our personal counselors and collaborators, as authoritative representatives of the African Church in the Offices of the Apostolic See. We thank you for the demonstration of fealty which your presence here gives Us. Our gratitude also to you, most beloved Brothers in the Episcopate! We know well your pastoral labours and your great merits - We embrace and bless you, each and every one. To the Priests, also, to the Men and Women Religious, to the Catechists, to the Teachers, to all collaborators in the Catholic Laity, to all of the Faithful-Our thanks, Our best wishes, and Our Blessings.

At this moment, two sentiments fill Our heart. First, a sentiment of communion. We give thanks to the Lord Who grants Us this ineffable experience. And We must tell you that it was with the desire for this spiritual experience that We undertook this voyage so that We could be with you, could rejoice in our common faith and charity, which unite us in such a way as to demonstrate, even visibly, that we are all one family, in the Mystical Body of Christ in His Church!

We must tell you also how happy We are to repeat here the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles: We are “one body and one spirit . . . called to the one hope . . . One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all” (Eph. 4, 4-6). If this sentiment of communion is shared by you, as We confidently hope, and if it endures as the memory of this our meeting, then We can say that Our journey has already achieved a most satisfactory and consoling result.

A second sentiment fills Our heart, beloved Brothers and sons, and it is that of profound respect for your persons, for your land, for your culture. We are filled with admiration and devotion for your Martyrs, whom We have come here to honour and invoke. We have no other desire than to foster what you already are: Christians and Africans. Hence We wish Our presence among you to have the significance of a recognition of your maturity, and of a desire to show you how that communion, which unites us does not suffocate, but rather nourishes the originality of your personal, ecclesial and even civil personality. From the Lord We implore the grace of contributing to your growth, by fertilizing the good seed and stirring up the human and Christian energies inherent in the genius of your vocation to spiritual and temporal fulfilment. Not Our interests, but yours, are the object of Our apostolic ministry.

This consideration prompts Us to take a rapid and summary glance at the questions characteristic of the African Church. We know that many of these questions have been discussed by you, the Bishops of this Continent; so that, in their regard, it remains only for Us to appreciate your studies and encourage your zeal. You have clear and concordant ideas; so, now, go forward methodically and courageously in the awareness of your great task: that of building up the Church!

For now, We shall limit Ourself to mentioning some general aspects of African Catholic life at this particular moment of history.

1. The first of these aspects seems to Us to be this: By now, you Africans are missionaries to yourselves. The Church of Christ is well and truly planted in this blessed soil (cf. Ad Gentes, No. 6). One duty, however, remains to be fulfilled: we must ,remember those who, before you, and even today with you, have preached the Gospel; for Sacred Scripture admonishes us to “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life; and imitate their faith” (Hebr. 13, 7). That is a history which we must not forget; it confers on the local Church the mark of its authenticity and nobility, its mark as “apostolic”. That history is a drama of charity, heroism and sacrifice, which makes the African Church great and holy from its very origins. It is a history which still continues, and must continue for a long time to come, even though you Africans are now assuming its direction. The help of collaborators coming here from other Churches is still necessary to you today; cherish that help, honour it, and unite it wisely with your own pastoral labours.

“Missionaries to yourselves” : in other words, you Africans must now continue, upon this Continent, the building up of the Church. The two great forces-and how different and unequal they are!-which Christ established to build up His Church, must work together (cf. Ad Gentes, No. 4) with great intensity. They are: The Hierarchy (by which name We mean the entire social, canonical, responsible, human and visible structure of the Church, with the Bishops in the front line); and then the Holy Spirit (that is, grace with all its charisms: cf. CONGAR: Esquisses du mystère de l’Eglise, pp. 129 seqq.). Both must be at work in the dynamic form which is precisely that suitable to a young Church, called upon to offer itself to a culture responsive to the Gospel, such as is your African Church. There must now be associated to and following upon the impulse given to the Faith by the missionary action of foreign countries, an impulse arising from the heart of Africa itself. The Church, by her very nature, is always a missionary Church. But, one day, we shall no longer call your apostolate a “missionary” apostolate in the technical sense, but rather a native, indigenous apostolate, all your own.

An immense task awaits your pastoral efforts, in particular the work of training those Christians called to the apostolate-the Clergy, the Men and Women Religious, the Catechists, the active Lay Men and Women. For, on the training and preparation of these local elements, these choice workers of the People of God, will depend the vitality, the development, and the future of the African Church. This is quite clear. It is the plan selected by Christ, that brother must save brother. But to achieve this evangelical purpose, may truly qualified brothers be the ministers, the servants, the spreaders of the good news and of grace and charity, in favour of their other brothers, who will themselves be called in turn to co-operate in the common work of building up the Church. All of this you know. We have therefore only to encourage and bless your resolution.

2. A burning and much-discussed question arises concerning your evangelizing work, and it is that of the adaptation of the Gospel and of the Church to African culture. Must the Church be European, Latin, Oriental . . . or must she be African? This seems a difficult problem, and in practice may be so, indeed. But the solution is rapid, with two replies. First, your Church must be first of all Catholic. That is, it must be entirely founded upon the identical, essential, constitutional patrimony of the self-same teaching of Christ, as professed by the authentic and authoritative tradition of the one true Church. This condition is fundamental and indisputable. We must, all of us, be both jealous and proud of that Faith of which the Apostles were the heralds, of which the Martyrs, that is, the Witnesses, were the champions, of which the Missionaries were scrupulous teachers. You know that the Church is particularly tenacious, we may even say conservative, in this regard. To make sure that the message of revealed doctrine cannot be altered, the Church has even set down her treasure of truth in certain conceptual and verbal formulas. Even when these formulas are difficult, at times, she obliges us to preserve them textually. We are not the inventors of our Faith; we are its custodians. Not every religious feeling is good; but only that religious sentiment which interprets the thought of God, according to the apostolic teaching authority established by the sole Master, Jesus Christ.

Granted this first reply, however, we now come to the second. The expression, that is, the language and mode of manifesting this one Faith, may be manifold; hence, it may be original, suited to the tongue, the style, the character, the genius, and the culture, of the one who professes this one Faith. From this point of view, a certain pluralism is not only legitimate, but desirable. An adaptation of the Christian life in the fields of pastoral, ritual, didactic and spiritual activities is not only possible, it is even favoured by the Church. The liturgical renewal is a living example of this. And in this sense you may, and you must, have an African Christianity. Indeed, you possess human values and characteristic forms of culture which can rise up to perfection such as to find in Christianity, and for Christianity, a true superior fulness, and prove to be capable of a richness of expression all its own, and genuinely African. This may take time. It will require that your African soul become imbued to its depths with the secret charisms of Christianity, so that these charisms may then overflow freely, in beauty and wisdom, in the true African manner. It will require from your culture that it should not refuse, but rather eagerly desire, to draw, from the patrimony of the patristic, exegetical, and theological tradition of the Catholic Church, those treasures of wisdom which can rightly be considered universal, above all, those which can be most easily assimilated by the African mind. The Church of the West did not hesitate to make use of the resources of African writers, such as Tertullian, Optatus of Milevis, Origen, Cyprian and Augustine (cf. Optatam totius, No. 16). Such an exchange of the highest expressions of Christian thought nourishes, without altering the originality, of any particular culture. It will require an incubation of the Christian “mystery” in the genius of your people in order that its native voice, more clearly and frankly, may then be raised harmoniously in the chorus of the other voices in the Universal Church. Do We need to remind you, in this regard, how useful it will be for the African Church to possess centres of contemplative and monastic life, centres of religious studies, centres of pastoral training? If you are able to avoid the possible dangers of religious pluralism, the danger of making your Christian profession into a kind of local folklore, or into exclusivist racism, or into egoistic tribalism or arbitrary separatism, then you will be able to remain sincerely African even in your own interpretation of the Christian life; you will be able to formulate Catholicism in terms congenial to your own culture; you will be capable of bringing to the Catholic Church the precious and original contribution of “negritude”, which she needs particularly in this historic hour.

The African Church is confronted with an immense and original undertaking; like a “mother and teacher” she must approach all the sons of this land of the sun; she must offer them a traditional and modern interpretation of life; she must educate the people in the new forms of civil organization; while purifying and preserving the forms of family and community; she must give an educative impulse to your individual and social virtues: those of honesty, of sobriety, of loyalty; she must help develop every activity that promotes the public good, especially the schools and the assistance of the poor and sick; she must help Africa towards development, towards concord, towards peace.

Indeed, these duties are great and always new. We shall speak of them again; but for now We tell you, in the Name of the Lord, Whom we all love and follow together, that you have the strength and the grace necessary for this, because you are living members of the Catholic Church, because you are Christian and you are Africans.

 To assist you, We impart to you all Our Apostolic Blessing."

Paul VI's Address to Milton Obote, President of the Republic of Uganda
Kampala - Thursday, 31 July 1969 - in English & Italian

"Mister President,
We express Our respectful greetings to Your Excellency, the Head of State of the Republic of Uganda. This Nation is particularly dear to the Catholic Church, since it has provided the first canonized African Martyrs, and the first African Bishop, of modern times; and because a third of its population comprises faithful sons and daughters of the Church, making this one of the first Christian Nations of Central Africa.

Your people were already well disposed to receive the Gospel when it was first preached to them in eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, because of their deep religious feeling, their rich worship, prayer and wisdom. The words of Our Message to Africa are especially applicable here: “The Catholic Church has great respect for the moral and religious values of African tradition. Not only do they have deep significance in themselves, but they also seem to provide a valuable foundation for the preaching of the Gospel, and for the erection. of a new society in Christ” (Africae Terrarum, No. 14).

We confidently assure Your Excellency of the staunch loyalty of Catholic citizens to Uganda. They wish to be the most faithful, the most industrious, the most helpful and peaceful members of the national community, in accordance with their Faith, and their duties towards the good of their Fatherland.

“The Church in no way desires to inject herself into the government of the earthly city. She claims no other authority than that of ministering to men, with the help of God, in a spirit of charity and faithful service” (Ad Gentes, No. 12). By spreading the light of Revelation, the message of Love, she promotes the dignity of man, training hearts and minds in the virtues of a just and brotherly social life, for the cultural, moral, and social progress of the people, in peace, and a common awareness of the good of all.

A trait which does great honour to the people of Uganda is their hospitality, with the harmony they construct out of great diversity. We are happy to pay high tribute to Your Excellency as Head of State, and to the Government of Uganda, for the protection and assistance given to refugees. We praise this concrete testimony of your respect for human life, and for the dignity of every man. We trust that this admirable example may inspire other countries, far and near, especially those now in conflict. The sense of brotherhood should prevail over every motive of division. The open heart and hand of Uganda give your Nation a special qualification to work in favour of peace in all Africa.

With this renewed assurance of Our benevolent interest and warm friendship, We gladly invoke upon Your Excellency, upon the Government, and upon the beloved people elf the Republic of Uganda, God’s choicest favours and richest graces of prosperity, happiness and peace."

Pope Paul VI's Homily at the Episcopal ordination of 12 Bishops
Kololo, Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Venerable Brothers and beloved sons
Our discourse, inserted as it is in this solemn rite after such a full and eloquent Liturgy of the Word, cannot but be very brief. Yet We cannot fail in the duty of addressing to this extraordinary assembly, and especially to the newly consecrated Bishops, these few words which come from Our very heart.

Our word is an extremely simple one; its is the word “conscience”.

The event which has just taken place is so great and so mysterious that it demands a reflex act of our minds, an act enduring well beyond the conclusion of these ceremonies, an act lasting for a lifetime-an act of conscience. In fact, even during the liturgical allocution just read, We exhorted all of you here present to think attentively, to reflect well: “sedulo attendite”.

Desirous now of expressing, as it were in a nut-shell, in concepts as compact and dense as seeds, the immense meaning of the episcopal Ordination, We can repeat the usual two-fold consideration: one of which, in the sacramental, theological, ineffable and interior sense, moves, as We may say, using the modern phraseology, in the vertical direction; while the other operates in the horizontal plane, that is, in the ecclesial, pastoral, exterior and social sense.

What has actually taken place by means of the imposition of hands and the formula of consecration? What has happened is that these newly elected ones have been invested with an extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit. An incomparable dignity much more interior, indeed, than external-has transfigured them. A fearful power has been conferred upon them; a virtue which comes from on high, and is ratified in heaven, (cf. Lk. 24, 49; Jn. 20, 23) has been communicated to them; a new and deeper assimilation to Christ has stamped upon them a superior personality (cf. Lk. 10, 16; Gal. 2, 20; Lumen Gentium, No. 21). As we have just read in the Roman Pontifical: in the Bishop, Our Lord Jesus Christ is among us. In a word, it is the communication of the fulness of the one supreme Priesthood of Christ Himself, now appropriated to the Bishop, which must occupy our attention, our admiration, our exultation. This is a grandeur which confounds us, for God alone is its cause (cf. Lk. 1, 48), and because God gives it to whom He wills, generally choosing the most humble (cf. 1 Cor. 1, 27). Yet it is a grandeur which exacts reverence, and which no one can despise with impunity (cf. Tit. 2, 1.5; Lk. 10, 16). Let us recognize Christ in ,the Bishop, and let us praise the Lord!

For what reason, however, is this preference given to the Bishop by Christ? We know this (and it is Our second consideration today): Christ has so favoured the Bishop in order to make him an Apostle. The Bishops, you know, are the successors of the Apostles. And who are the Apostles? They are those whom the Lord chose, and separated, and segregated for a mission in favour of the people (cf. Hebr. 5, 1). They are those whom He sends forth (cf. Jn. 15, 16; Mt. 19, 29; Lk. 18, 29; Gal. 1, 15; Rom. 1, 1; Acts. 13, 2). Apostle means one sent forth. The Apostles, and hence also the Bishops, their successors, are the representatives, or, rather, the vehicles and instruments of the love of Christ for men. The episcopal ministry is a sign and an instrument of salvation (cf. Mt. 9, 38; Lk. 6, 13; Jn. 20, 21). In the ordinary divine economy of salvation, men do not save themselves by themselves. The Church is the visible sacrament of the saving love of God. (cf. Lumen Gentium No. 9). The ministerial Priesthood is indispensable (ibidem, No. 10), and finds its full expression in the Episcopate. There must, in fact, be someone who brings men the Word of God (cf. Dei Verbum, No. 10); there must be someone who distributes to them the mysteries of grace (cf. 1 Cor. 4, l-2); there must be someone who guides them in the paths of the Lord (cf. Jn. 21, 15; Lumen Gentium, No. 19-20); there must be someone who unites them in Christ through the Gospel (Rom. 10, 8; 1 Cor. 4, 1-2; Tit. 1, 7; 1 Pet. 4, 10; etc.). In a word, the Bishops are ministers, they are servants; they are not for themselves but for others. They are yours; they exist for you, faithful people hearing Our words! (cf. Lk. 22, 26; Rom. 1, 14; Lumen Gentium, No. 20). They exist for the Church. It is for the Church that the Bishops have the right and duty to exercise the functions of Teachers, Priests and Shepherds (cf. 1 Pet. 4, II; Pontificale Romanum, No. 18; Christus Dominus, Nos. 12-16). They are for the Church, and to the Church they offer all their life (2 Cor. 12, 15).

This second aspect of the Episcopate, namely, its direction towards the good of others, its pastoral, charitable, community function, has become of great importance today. That is because this particular aspect is visible and social, so that all wish to see and judge it. For it is to you, Beloved Brothers, Bishops of newborn or very young Churches, that pastoral love is imposed in a superior degree, rather than elsewhere. It might be said that you have to found your local Churches; you have to build them up, in a way analogous to that which Christ indicated to Peter (cf. Mt. 16, 16). You have to seek out, and call to the Faith, new Christians- a great task, this, and one which meets with difficulties of every kind, thus demanding from the Bishop and his collaborators self-denial, courage, constancy, wisdom and sacrifice. Moreover, you must work in poverty, and often against opposition. And your hearts are open wide to the children, to youth, to the poor, and to all who suffer.

But it is by means of this pastoral toil that you experience the three phases of the missionary apostolate. Evangelization, or the planting of the seed (cf. 1 Cor. 3, 6; Ad Gentes, No. 6); then Formation, or growth (ibidem, Nos. 15, 18, 19); finally, the Development of its native character, of its African-ness (ibidem, Nos. 16, 221, with the aspiration, not only towards its own self-sufficiency (ibidem, No. 15), but also towards an expansive and missionary ability (ibidem, No. 20; cf. article by P. MASSON in L’Evêque dans l’Eglise du Christ, p. 173).

Behold, then, set upon your shoulders, the weight of numberless duties, of responsibilities and of sorrows! As We said, you must build up the Church; but We may add that, almost by the very nature of your ministry, you must also lend your service to help build up civil society, while remaining free from political engagements and temporal interests. For you must make generous contribution towards the education of the people, towards the honesty of their customs, towards their progressive instruction, towards their work in accordance with just social rules, towards respect for Authority, towards brotherhood, and towards peace, and finally, as We said yesterday, towards that new civilization: African and Christian.

How great an office this is ! Most beloved and Venerable Confreres, this great charge is yours, and this great cross-but it is the saving Cross of Christ! Carry it, then, with immense confidence and endless courage ! This, your Martyrs teach you. The example is given you by your great and holy African Bishops, such as Cyprian and Augustine! With you are the valiant Missionaries of yesterday and of today, who re-opened Africa to the Gospel, and made it a new fatherland of Christ; and you are assisted by the collegial fellowship of your Brother Bishops on this Continent, and throughout the entire Catholic Church (cf. 1 Pet. 5, 9)!

And be assured that Our charity is with you, as well as Our Apostolic Blessing."

Pope Paul VI's Address to the members of Parliament of Uganda
Kampala, Friday 1 August 1969 - in English, French, Italian & Spanish

It may be well to begin by introducing each other.

Who are We? You are not, perhaps, led astray by the opinion held of Us by certain contemporaries; We are a weak and little man like other men, perhaps more so than other men. Have understanding for Our personal littleness. But We make so bold as to present Ourself to you under a twofold title: one title is Our own - it is the great love We have for Africa, for you, and for the Peoples you govern and represent; the other title is not Our own - it was conferred upon Us, and it makes Us humble and bold as We come among you: you know it well, it is the title of Pope, which means Father; and We inherited it from Saint Peter, whose unworthy but authentic successor We are. It was Saint Peter whom Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, constituted as the foundation of His Church, which during nearly twenty centuries has spread throughout the world and also in Uganda. It is as Pastor of the Catholic Church that We are here. We present Ourself to you, and speak, to you also, His simple and solemn words: Peace be to you!

In saying “to you”, We recognize who you are: Africans, invested with authority and responsibility, and representing in your office the image, or rather the reality, of the new Africa. In your persons. We salute your Africa, all of Africa, even those regions which are not physically represented here today. We do not conceal from you the emotion which this meeting stirs up in Our mind. Willingly do We recognize the singular importance and deep significance of this moment. Africa, personified by its highest, most qualified and most cultured exponents, is greeted by the entire Catholic Church, through the authorized voice of its humble head. It seems to Us that this is a unique recognition of the new Africa, emancipated from its past, and ripe for a new era; and We pray to God that this recognition may be historically and prophetically valuable for Africa’s improved future destiny. Permit Us to express this wish, rising from Our very heart, and formed by Our lips, in its fullest and truest meaning: Long live Africa!


We avail Ourself of this opportunity also to declare to you what the Catholic Church does, and what she does not do, on this Continent - and, indeed, wherever she carries on her mission. The Church thanks you for your recognition of her freedom: freedom to exist, and to fulfil her mission. She appreciates this freedom, which means independence in her proper domain, the religious domain; which also means her autonomy in religious matters, together with respect for the political authority. She has no temporal interests of her own; she does not engage in politics in the proper sense of the term; she renders to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (cf. Mt. 22, 21); nor does she intend, while performing her mission, to impose the particular traits of so called Western culture, at the expense of the good, human characteristics of African culture. Have no fear of the Church; she honours you, she educates honest and loyal citizens for you, she does not foment rivalries and divisions, she seeks to promote healthy liberty, social justice, and peace. If she has any preference at all, it is for the poor, for the education of little ones and of the people, for the care of the suffering and abandoned (cf. Enc. Mater et Magistra, Introd.; Gaudium et Spes, No. 42, 76, 88, etc.). The Church does not make her faithful sons strangers to civil life and national interests; on the contrary, she trains and engages them in the service of the public good (cf. Gaudium et Spes, No. 75, etc.).

There is, however, a programme of the temporal order which the Church fosters today, not her programme, but your own; and to it she intends to give her moral support and also, as far as possible, her practical support: that is, the programme of the development of peoples. As you know, We have written an Encyclical Letter - that is, a message to the Church and to the entire world - entitled Populorum progressio on this very theme; and We reiterated its purposes in the message which We addressed directly to Africa, on October the twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, entitled Africae Terrarum (A.A.S. 1967, pp. 1073 seqq.). By these documents, We wished to underline the fundamental aspiration of the Peoples of the Third World to that justice to which they have full right, as much as every other Nation; for development is truly an indisputable exigency of justice. Neither colonialism nor neo-colonialism is its theme, but aid and impulse to the African people, that they may be able to express, in their proper genius and by their own strength, those political, social, economic and cultural structures which are proportionate to their needs, and coordinated with international society and modern civilization. Have no fear of the Church! She takes nothing away from you; rather, she brings you, together with her moral and practical support, what we believe to be the only, the true, the highest interpretation of human life in time, and beyond time - the Christian interpretation.

It is by the light of that interpretation that the Church observes your great problems. In Our opinion, these problems can be considered from a twofold point of view: one being the freedom of national territories, the other being the equality of races. What We mean now by that word of many meanings, “freedom”, is civil independence, political self-determination, emancipation from the domination of other powers extraneous to the African population. This is an event which dominates world history, and which Our predecessor Pope John the Twenty-Third defined as a sign of the times (cf. Enc. Pacem in Terris, Nos. 40-41; A.A.S. 1963, p. 268). In other words, it is a fact arising from the greater awareness which men have acquired of their own dignity, both as individuals, and as a community of people; it is a fact which reveals the irreversible current of history, corresponding, no doubt, to a providential plan pointing out the right direction to all those invested with responsibility, above all in the political field.

No one, as that venerated Predecessor of Ours observed, likes to feel himself subjected to political powers wielded from outside his own national or ethnic community. Therefore the Peoples of Africa have themselves assumed the responsibility for their own destiny. The Church greets this event with satisfaction, for there is no doubt that it marks a decisive step forward on the path of human civilization; and she greets it with pleasure, because she is convinced that she has, in the sphere of her proper action, made her contribution, namely, in the sphere of human conscience made more aware by the Gospel message; for by the light of that message the dignity of a people are seen more clearly, and the demands arising from that dignity are recognized. Those demands have their reflection in every aspect of human life, which is elevated to the fulness of personal responsibility, and inserted into a collectivity governed by justice and love.

We are happy to state this, here in Uganda, the land of the martyrs who shed their blood in celebration of that lofty value of freedom, of strength, of dignity, deriving from their religious faith; thus they affirmed that it is not possible, today less than ever, to have a well ordered, dignified and fruitful life in common among human beings, unless it is founded upon the recognition, the protection, and the promotion of their fundamental rights, precisely in as much as they are men, and sons of God; and of their consequent duties, precisely in so far as they are members of a society ordained to function for the good of its citizens.

These are the fundamental criteria, of the moral order, which shed light upon the path to be followed, but do not remove the obstacles which encumber it, especially where these criteria have not yet found their normal application, Herein, the judgement to be made upon concrete situations devolves directly upon the responsible authorities and, in cases of particular gravity, also upon the conscience of the citizens. We should here quote long and beautiful passages from the Pastoral Constitution of the recent Ecumenical Council (Gaudium et Spes, Nos. 73, 74, 75).

Today, unfortunately, situations have arisen in the world, and also in Africa, of such unease and such aversion to peaceful life in common, that renewed and unhappy currency has. been given to the baneful words which signify war, as if they expressed an inescapable necessity. The Church, by her very nature, by her evangelical principle of “non-violence” cannot adopt this inhuman language; rather, she suffers inwardly because of the causes such language supposes, and the effects it engenders.

We cannot but remember, among the other victims of these mournful events, the refugees and their sufferings.

We shall be faithful, unto its uttermost consequences, to one programme only - that of “justice and peace” - which is the programme of Christ. No longer should violence be the means of resolving disagreements among men, but reason and love. No longer man against man, but man for man, and with man, in brotherhood.

We shall go farther, although speaking as a simple man. We believe that, today, conflicts between peoples can be resolved by a better and more efficacious way than the way of violence. Human relationship must not be regulated by the confrontation of forces unleashed for slaughter and destruction, but by reasonable negotiations, upheld by the international institutions, to which we must give authority, efficiency, and confidence. We express again, on this occasion also, Our hope for an ever more active efficiency of those institutions.

Moreover, in the question of colonialism and neo-colonialism still a burning question in Africa - and both of which can be reproved for having too often let economic interests prevail unilaterally over human considerations, it is clear that the interested peoples have the right to aspire to their own legitimate autonomy; nevertheless, in certain concrete situations, the best method of attaining it will be the method - perhaps a little slower, but surer - of first preparing men and institutions capable of true sturdy self-government ; and We wish to believe that such preparation will not only not be impeded, but will be favoured, with due order and in collaboration, by the responsible authorities, during a period of symbiosis between the native populations and those of foreign origin, in such a way that cultural, civil, and economic structures may be formed, capable of making preparation, at every level of society, for responsibility, and for the sense of the common good, in view of accession to a true sovereignty, so as not to fall, on the other side, into the snares of other insidious enslavements.

As far as We are concerned, the Church - although under very different conditions - already follows this method, by preparing Bishops, clergy, religious and laity, native to the territory in which she carries on her mission of faith and charity; and We are confident that a beginning can soon be made in instituting a local Hierarchy in those other African countries where, up to now, this has not been possible.

Another great problem is that of the diversity of races. Even at the cost of seeming naive, We shall continue to assert that it can be solved in a very simple way, that is, by stripping it of its character of antagonism, rivalry, unequal rights, ethnic hatred, physical dislike. In a word this is a problem which is solved by reducing it to its lowest denominator. We do not wish to conceal the serious practical difficulties this presents. There may be free and reasonable measures of respect due to the customs, character, and culture of the various ethnic families; but we, as Christians, can never forget that the Church condemns “any discrimination against men, or harassment of them, because of their race, colour, condition of life, or religion” (Council Declaration Nostra Aetate, No. 5); and the Vatican Council also said: “Since all men possess a rational soul, and are created in God’s likeness, since they have the same nature and origin, have been redeemed by Christ, and enjoy the same divine calling and destiny, the basic equality of all must receive increasingly greater recognition” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 29). Even as men, we must always remember that the path of civilization proceeds towards the recognition of the equality of men, since, as men, they possess the same fundamental dignity, and its consequent rights. For this reason, We deplore ‘the fact that, in certain parts of the world, there persist social situations based upon racial discrimination, and often willed and sustained by systems of thought; such situations constitute a manifest and inadmissible affront to the fundamental rights of the human person, and to the laws of civilized living. The negative problem of exclusivist racism is resolved by pluralism, if properly understood.

You Africans have a deep sense of community; it is one of your most attractive and human characteristics. But the feeling of a particular community is no longer sufficient; this sense must be widened out to the feeling of the civil, the national, and even the international community. Your experience, will have taught you that independence does not imply either opposition, or isolation, between African peoples and non-African peoples; on the contrary, the new African States will be truly independent to the extent that they are capable of collaborating freely with other States, and with the entire, orderly, international family of the world. The great Christian commandment to love our neighbour thus finds an ever wider application; it tends towards a universal love - and in this respect the Catholic Church can be a good teacher to all.

It is a magnificent commandment, but it is difficult, because it requires that we overcome particular egoisms; yet, it is the precept which bears within itself the great gift of Peace.

We wish to conclude Our discourse with this word: Peace!

It is a painful word, because today - in a region of Africa dear to Us, since, years ago, We were able to visit and admire it - there still rages, as you know, an agonizing conflict. We have not only sought to secure good and medical assistance, impartially and by every means available to Us, but have also tried to apply the remedy of a certain initial reconciliation. Up to now, We have not succeeded, and this gives Us heartfelt pain; but We are resolved to continue Our modest, but affectionate and fair efforts of persuasion, to help heal this fatal dissension.

Peace! It is a word both human and Christian, and worthy to be understood and lived by young Africa which, in peace, can find its definitive, modern political and social adjustment, and its economic and cultural prosperity, giving to this world of ours, which seems to be tempted anew by the demon of discord, armaments, and rivalries, the example of a new and truer conception of civilization, that founded upon effective brotherhood among peoples, between classes, between parties, between rates, between religions, between families.

Peace! It is the kindest and best word We have in Our heart. We say it to you, Mister President, as a sign of gratitude for the welcome given Us; We say it to all the personages here present; and We send it forth as a hopeful blessing over this whole Continent - Peace to all of Africa!"

Paolo VI's Address to the Diplomatic Corps
Kampala, Friday 1 August 1969 - in French, Italian & Spanish

"C’est toujours un honneur et un plaisir pour Nous, Messieurs, lorsque Nos déplacements Nous amènent dans une Capitale, d’y rencontrer les Chefs de Missions et les Membres du Corps Diplomatique. Il ne s’agit pas là, soyez-en sûrs, d’un simple souci de politesse protocolaire. C’est bien plutôt l’effet du désir qui Nous anime de ne laisser échapper aucune occasion de travailler à faire avancer la cause de la paix.

Vous savez assez combien cette cause Nous tient à cœur, à quel point l’Eglise Catholique y est intéressée et engagée, et quelle place tient cette préoccupation. Nous pouvons le dire, dans les motifs qui Nous poussent à entreprendre Nos voyages. Si en effet Notre but principal est toujours et avant tout d’ordre religieux, Nous estimons cependant pouvoir également ainsi aider les hommes à surmonter leurs divisions et à se sentir davantage frères: et c’est cela le chemin qui conduit à la paix.

Sur ce chemin, Nous vous rencontrons: vous aussi, par définition, êtes les artisans de la paix; vous aussi travaillez à surmonter les divisions qui séparent les nations; vous aussi voulez aider les hommes à fraterniser. Et voilà pourquoi Nous attachons tant de prix à une rencontre, si brève soit-elle avec les diplomates. Et il Nous semble qu’ici, à Kampala, au cœur de cet immense continent africain, et en un moment comme celui que nous traversons, une rencontre de ce genre acquiert une résonance toute particulière.

Nous ne saurions oublier que le Christ, de qui Nous tenons Notre mandat, fut salué prophétiquement du titre glorieux de «Prince de la Paix». C’est en son nom que Nous vous disons: ne vous lassez pas de travailler pour cette grande cause; ne vous laissez pas décourager par les obstacles et difficultés sans cesse renaissantes; ne doutez pas de l’homme. Car quelles que soient sa faiblesse et parfois sa méchanceté, ce qu’il y a de meilleur en lui appelle et veut la paix. Et en travaillant à la faire régner, vous avez avec vous l’immense majorité du genre humain.

Nous voudrions que tette trop brève rencontre soit pour chacun de vous, Messieurs, un encouragement et un stimulant à garder bien vivante la flamme de l’espérance. Dieu est avec vous dans vos efforts pour faire avancer le monde vers l’unité et la paix, et c’est de grand cœur que Nous invoquons en terminant, sur vos personnes, sur vos familles et sur vos patries, l’abondance de ses bénédictions."

Papa Paul VI's words to the faithful in the Parish of Nzambia
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Beloved sons and daughters,
It is a joy for Us to visit you here in your parish, with its church, schools and hospital. You live near the home of the Representative of the Pope, and you are all very dear to the heart of the Pope himself.

We would like to visit every parish in Africa, and speak to every one of Our faithful sons and daughters. We are so happy to see your ,smiling faces, to look into your eyes, to tell you of Our affection.

Always rejoice in your Catholic Faith. It will sustain you in your sorrow, it will bring you light in the darkness of suffering, it will increase your happiness in times of health and prosperity. Remain close to your church, where Our Lord Himself has freely desired to live among you and console you with His Real Presence. And pray to Him for yourselves and your dear ones, and also that He may grant the gift of Faith to all your brothers in Uganda and in all Africa.

With all Our heart, We bestow upon you and your children, upon your priests and religious, and upon your beloved parish, Our Apostolic Blessing."

Pope Paul VI's words to the sick in the Hospital of Mulogo
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Beloved sons and daughters,
You remember, in the Gospel, that one day when Our Lord was surrounded by people asking to be cured, the friends of a poor invalid made a hole in the roof of the house, and lowered his stretcher down so that Jesus could touch and heal him. Since you cannot move from your hospital beds, today it is the Pope who has come through the sky from Rome in order to be among you, and to bring you his blessing.

Like Our Lord on the Cross, you cannot move about freely; but, like Him, you can hold your arms open wide to the entire world, and offer your sufferings for the salvation of men. We admire your courage, your patience and your good humour; and We encourage you to see in your illness and pain the loving hand of God, Who loves you so dearly, and Who knows what is best for your soul and your eternal happiness. For those who love Him, all things work together for good. Let your hospital bed be an altar upon which you offer yourself completely to God, to do with as He wishes; and your reward will be exceeding great in Heaven.

From a paternal heart filled with tender affection, We bless you all, and We bless those who care for you in this hospital, your families, and all those you love. "

Papa Paul VI's words to the faithful of the village of Mengo
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Beloved sons and daughters,
This meeting with you, the men, women, and children-of this village, is one of the richest and happiest occasions of Our visit to Africa. We greet and bless you, and through you We salute and embrace all the village People of Uganda and of all Africa. Most Africans live in villages, as you do; to you, and to each of them, We assure Our esteem, Our affection, and Our hopes for your future.

In a village like this, everyone knows his neighbours, and all feel that they are brothers. Each one works together for the common good, tills the common land, celebrates common traditions. The work is hard, and the reward is small; but the lot of those who go to the cities is much more difficult and more dangerous.

Pope John said that workers on the land must never have an inferiority complex or consider themselves less important (cf. Mater et Magistra, n. 126). He also said, however, that you must continue to ask for essential services, such as roads, transportation, communications, drinking water, housing, medical care, education, vocational training, religious assistance and also recreation (ibid. n. 128). Great efforts are already being made in this way, and We are happy that the Catholic Church has contributed, as far as she is able, to village development and improvement. We Ourself have instructed Our Commission on Justice and Peace to enter this struggle, and to work for the betterment of your village communities and your daily living.

Here, from your village, We proclaim to all Africa and the entire world that rural Africa must be aided in developing its immense agricultural possibilities; that the establishment of local industries must replace the exploitation of raw materials; and that the African villager must be helped to become, through concord and union with local and national society, the master of his own destiny and development, given the instruction necessary to undertake his personal responsibilities.

We desire for each one of you that dignity and justice which are proper to the sons of God. Therefore, We summon the whole world to that universal brotherhood under God, for which Our Lord Jesus Christ, and your own Uganda Martyrs, gave their lives. To encourage you also to give your lives, that is, your daily living and work, for your brothers, We lovingly impart to you all Our Apostolic Blessing. "

Pope Paul VI's Address at the Centre for Human Promotion
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"It is with pleasure, dear friends, that We spend a few moments with you, to bring you Our congratulation and Our encouragement.

Your Centre works mainly for human promotion in a better organized society; you prepare yourselves here to collaborate, each in his own way, to the great enterprise of development. Your first concern is for the human person, with his urge to be recognized as a free man, with responsibilities, ready to take his full and rightful place in society. That place requires a good and honourable family life, decent working conditions and a just and adequate payment, a share in civic activities, and in lawful recreation - in a word, his complete and harmonious self-fulfilment.

As Our Lord reminded us in the parable of the talents, every man and woman, no matter how humble, in expected to do his utmost and exploit his abilities to the full. In our modern world, so fascinated by the marvellous achievements of science, immense effort is necessary to give due importance to the heart of man, to develop his ability to love, to share, to give, to receive, for, without this, material development may lead to a society dangerously under-developed in spiritual things.

In this regard, We cannot fail to emphasize the primary importance of the efforts being made in Africa to enable women to make an ever increasing contribution to the new civilization being built up here. As We wrote in Our «Message to Africa», «Today, the African woman is summoned to become ever more aware of her personal dignity, of her role as mother, and of her right to take part in the social life and progress of modern Africa» (Africae terrarum, n. 36). Rest assured, dear friends, that everything you do to help the women of your country take responsibility as educators in your families, your villages and your communities, will help guarantee the physical, moral and spiritual health of your society.

You are working together to bring about respect for the human person and for his right to life, to health, to work, to freedom and to religion. Your collaboration is for all persons, without distinction of class, race, or religion; and this, in the Christian ideal, is love for all men, that charity taught by Jesus: «By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if your have love for one another» (Jn. 13, 35).

May these words of Our Lord inspire you to persevere in your work, even when it is difficult, and encourage you in your high ideals. And may His richest blessings descend upon each one of you and your families."

Pope Paul VI's words at the Hospital of Rubaga
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"To you, Gentlemen, who are responsible for the completion of this new hospital, We extend Our heartfelt gratitude for inviting Us to its solemn inauguration. We come here today, not only to praise this material structure, for We know well what labour and sacrifices its construction has demanded, but above all to meet the sick, the suffering and the afflicted.

Here is the love taught by the Gospel! We thank and bless all who show such evangelical charity in this hospital; We encourage them to remember that, in their difficult service to the sick, they are assisting Our Lord Himself, Who said: “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to Me”.

Beloved patients, We greet you most affectionately, for you are the special recipients of divine love. Jesus expressed the most profound meaning of love in His parable of the Good Samaritan, who helped a sick and wounded man.

Hence, when the Church opens hospitals where none is available, and thus serves the sick, she is true to her mission of charity. To this duty, the missionaries have always given first place, not as an unseemly propaganda, but only to show the Church’s unselfish and universal. love for all the poor and afflicted, of every race, colour and religion. In this, she has no desire to compete with the civil authorities; she wishes only to inspire their action, or supply its lack when necessary, for she is always the servant of men in their human development, both physical and spiritual. Such is the mission of this excellent new hospital.

To its directors, therefore, to the medical, nursing and technical personnel and staff, and particularly to all the patients and their families, We lovingly impart Our very special Apostolic Blessing.

In the place of healing, and on this occasion, We wish to make the announcement of a project, inspired by Our special love and concern for the suffering, and particularly for the suffering children.

To Our great sorrow, it was not possible for Us, during Our stay in Africa, to visit that region which is undergoing a fearful conflict, the land of Nigeria. But, to show Our affection for that country, which We had the joy of visiting when Archbishop of Milan, We intend, as soon as the situation permits, to found there two institutions, in the ecclesiastical jurisdictions where We then journeyed, and which have since been so terribly ravaged by the consequences of war. These two institutions will receive and help the innocent young children, who have been wounded or crippled or otherwise injured because of the conflict, and seek to repair the damage, both physical and moral, done to those little ones, and also as much as possible assist them by suitable training to take their place in society as useful citizens, thus working for the future and for peaceful development. Hence We shall place both these institutions under the loving maternal patronage of Our Lady of Peace, whom We now implore to obtain from her Divine Son Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the speedy end of hostilities and the return of concord and brotherly love to that dear land. But We wish also to show in a practical way Our love for the sick and suffering of Uganda. Therefore we offer towards the completion and continuation of this Hospital, Our personal gift in the amount of ten thousand dollars, accompanied by Our prayers for al1 those who work and are helped here. God bless you."

Paul VI's Address to members of Catholic Action & other Catholic Associations of Uganda
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Our heart is filled with joy, beloved sons and daughters of Catholic Action, and members of other Catholic Associations, as We greet you, assembled here from all over Uganda and from many other countries. Each of your lands has consoled Us by impressive numbers of priestly and religious vocations. But We are well aware, as the Vatican Council asserted, that “the Church has not been truly established, nor is it a perfect sign of Christ among men, unless there exists a laity worthy of the name, working along with the Hierarchy” (Ad Gentes, No. 21).

In Africa, this vision has partly become a reality. Still, even greater efforts must be made today, when human society is being transformed so very rapidly. Lay men and women are in the front ranks of present-day evolution. In every domain-the family, society, the economy, culture-they are the irreplaceable builders and also the beneficiaries.

Because, by your very vocation, you are engaged in the great work of development, and because you represent here all the militant laity of Africa, We wish to give you the first announcement of a great project We have planned in connection with Our visit to Africa.

By Our Encyclical “Populorum progression”, and later by Our “Message to Africa”, We encouraged every effort towards true promotion of man in your countries, and described its Christian perspectives. Now, in order that this work be promoted, here in your presence, well aware that Our voice will be heard to the ends of the earth, We state Our solemn intention of making a very special contribution of support to those bodies devoted to the “search of a new humanism, which will enable modern man to find himself anew, by embracing the higher values of love and friendship, of prayer and contemplation” (Populorum progressio, No. 20).

But We cannot carry out this great project, beloved sons and daughters, without you. As lay apostles, uniting your efforts with those of all men of good will, you cannot surely be less active, or inventive, or courageous, that your brothers, in constructing a more human world. On the contrary, in every action, no matter how humble, you will always be attentive to that particular development on which all the rest depends: namely, the development of men’s hearts in love, justice, liberty and truth.

For this is the specific action of the Church concerning development. “Closely united with men in their life and work, Christ’s disciples hope to render to others true witness of Christ, and to work for their salvation, even where they are not able to proclaim Christ fully” (Ad Gentes, No. 12). They are always ready to give an account of the hope that is in them (1 Pet. 3, 15).

“The Gospel cannot be deeply imprinted on the talents, life, and work of any people without the active presence of lay men” (Ad Gentes, No. 27). The development of zealous lay people, therefore, especially of the laity of Catholic Action, must be the constant concern of priests and religious, in close collaboration with the Hierarchy. Here, Africa can find and demonstrate new and original forms of lay organization and lay expression.

At the same time, Africa must neglect the centuries-old experience of many well established movements in other parts of the world. And, in the ranks of those movements, the African voice must be heard, and listened to with respect.

The Martyrs of Uganda were laymen, who did not hesitate to shed their blood for the Faith. To the lay men and women of today, they make a most compelling appeal, to follow in their footsteps through every-day tasks, striving for that holiness of life which brings a rich harvest of souls.

Upon Catholic Action, and the other Catholic Associations in Africa, upon all of you who march in their ranks, upon your families, your directors, and your associates, We lovingly bestow Our paternal Apostolic Blessing."

Pope Paul VI's Address to members of the Catholic Church in Uganda
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Venerable Brothers and beloved sons,
We thank you from Our heart for the magnificent welcome you have prepared for Us. We also congratulate you on the impressive vitality of Catholic life in Uganda, In only ninety years, vocations to the Priesthood and the Religious life have multiplied, and Catholicism has flourished to the extent that today nearly three million Ugandans, about a third of the total population of the country, are faithful sons of the Church. This Nation also gave the Church her first African Bishop of the modern era, Bishop Joseph Kiwanuka, named Vicar Apostolic of Mosaka on May the twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred .and thirty-nine.

When we contemplate so abundant a harvest, it is fitting to recall the sowers of the seed, the first Missionaries: and also those young Martyrs, glory of the Church in Uganda-Charles Lwanga and his companions, whom We recently raised to the honour of the altars in the universal Church. It is in their memory, and to consecrate their shrine, that the humble Vicar of Christ has come to Uganda, for they constitute a glory for the whole of Africa.

How admirable was the work of the pioneers of evangelization in this Country! The White Fathers, and, after them, the Mill Hill Fathers and the Sons of the Sacred Heart from Verona; the White Sisters; and all the other Men and Women Religious, whose only motive was to spread the Word of God. Their efforts have been so fruitful that, today, it is the Clergy of Uganda themselves who increasingly assume the responsibility of the Church here, with the assistance of the various missionary societies.

This abundant out-pouring of God’s grace is so very evident today, that we must all dedicate ourselves to launch out into the deep, to continue and complete this vital mission. For “I am sure that He Who began a good work in- you will bring it to completion” (Phil. 1, 6).

To entourage you, Venerable Brothers and beloved sons, in this wider and more intense mission, We lovingly bestow upon you, and impart to your Clergy, your Religious, and all the families of Uganda, Our paterna1 Apostolic Blessing, expressing Our ardent hope that closer union and true peace among al1 the tribal, ethnic, and spiritual communities of this land many follow upon Our Benediction, as gracious gifts from Almighty God."

Pope Paul VI's Address to the Dignitaries & Representatives of Islam
Friday 1 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Dignitaries and Representatives of Islam,
How can we express Our deep satisfaction in meeting you, and Our gratitude to you, for granting Our lively desire to greet, in your persons, the great Moslem communities spread throughout Africa? You thus enable Us to manifest here Our high respect for the faith you profess, and Our hope that what we hold in common may serve to unite Christians and Moslems ever more closely, in true brotherhood.

It gives Us pleasure to salute also the Representatives of the Indian and Pakistani communities, which have found, in this country, a fraternal welcome.

In our prayers, We always remember the Peoples of Africa, for the common belief in the Almighty professed by millions of them must call down upon this Continent the graces of His Providence and Love, most of all, peace and unity among all its sons, We feel sure that, as Representatives of Islam, you join in Our prayer to the Almighty, that He grant all African believers that desire for pardon and reconciliation so often commended in the Gospels and in the Koran.

Our pilgrimage to these holy places is not for purposes of prestige or power. It is a humble and ardent prayer for peace, through the intercession of the glorious Protectors of Africa, who gave up their lives for love and for their belief. In recalling the Catholic and Anglican Martyrs, We gladly recall also those confessors of the Moslem faith who were the first to suffer death, in the year eighteen hundred and forty-eight, for refusing to transgress the precepts of their religion.

May the shining sun of peace and brotherly love rise over this land, bathed with their blood by generous sons of the Catholic, Christian and Moslem communities of Uganda, to illuminate all of Africa! And may this, Our meeting with you, respected Representatives of Islam, be the symbol of, and first step towards, that unity for which God calls us all to strive for His greater glory, for the happiness of this blessed Continent!"

Paul VI's Homily at the Shrine of Namugongo
Saturday 2 August 1969 - in English, French & Italian

"Most beloved sons and daughters, Christian Youth of Uganda!
And you, Venerable Brothers, Bishops and Priests!
Men & Women Religious, Catechists, Lay Men & Women of Catholic Action!
Christian Brethren of every denomination!
You, also, the Civil Authorities present here today, to whom We are particularly thankful for your courteous welcome and the honour of your attendance!

Our greetings and Our blessings to all of you!
Be assured that We have all of you present in Our prayer during this holy rite.

At this moment, it is all of Africa that We consider symbolically participating in this sacred ceremony, because We intend to offer it to Christ for all of Africa, for its prosperity, for its peace, for its salvation!

And to the young men and women, the catechumens, and the children here present, symbols of the new Africa, We now address this brief discourse in a special way.

I ask this question of you, beloved sons and daughters:

Why have I come to Africa, to Uganda, and right here to Namugongo?

I have come to do honour to your Martyrs. Here is being raised a Sanctuary to the glory of the Lord in their memory; and I decided to come from Rome to bless the altar of this Sanctuary. My intention is to venerate also, by this act, all those other Christians who have given their lives for the Catholic Faith in Africa, here and everywhere.

But, you will ask me, why should the Martyrs be honoured?

And I answer you: It is because they have performed the most heroic, and therefore the greatest and most beautiful of all actions; they have, as I said, laid down their lives for their Faith, that is, for their religion and for the freedom of their conscience. Therefore they are our champions, our heroes, our teachers. They teach us how real Christians should be. Listen to me now: Should a Christian be a coward? Should he be afraid? Should he betray his own Faith? No! Of course not! Your Martyrs teach us just how true Christians should be, especially young Christians, African Christians. For Christians must be courageous, they must be strong, they must, as Saint Peter wrote, “be firm in the faith” (1 Pet. 5, 9). Your Martyrs teach us how much the Faith is worth! But, you ask me, is Faith worth more than life?

Yes, indeed! Faith is more valuable than our present life, which is a mortal life; whereas Faith is the beginning of the immortal life of happiness, that is, of the life of God in us. Do you know this most important truth? You answer: Yes! because you have learned that Faith is accepting the Word of God; and whoever accepts the Word of God begins to live of God Himself.

Now, you may ask me: Is Faith enough, to be living in God and to be saved?

But you know your Catechism: Faith is indeed necessary; but it is not enough. Together with Faith, you need grace, you need the Holy Spirit, you need that great Sacrament which makes us Christians, the Sacrament of Baptism; and then you also need the other Sacraments, which make us live as sons of God, as brothers of Christ, as tabernacles of the Holy Spirit-which make us good and holy-which make us members of the Church-which make us meritorious of Heaven. The Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist, the most mysterious, but also the holiest and most life-giving of all the Sacraments, gives us Jesus Christ Himself; sacrificing Himself for us, He made Himself into living bread for our souls.

Well, then, you may say, it is a fine thing to be Christians!

Yes, indeed, beloved sons and daughters, it is a very fine thing. I would like this idea to remain deeply impressed in your memory, or rather, in your conscience, forever: it is a very fine thing to be Christians! Pay attention, however-It is a very fine thing, but it is not always an easy thing. Look at your own Martyrs. They had to suffer for their faithfulness to Christ. One who is a Christians must live according to his Faith; then it can happen that his attachment to his Faith demands sacrifice-sometimes, it requires great sacrifices-but, most often, it only demands many little sacrifices made frequently; but these sacrifices are precious, full of noble manly vigour; they make life strong and virtuous, they keep it pure and honest, they turn it always towards love: to the love of God, which is the first thing we must do; then to the love of other men, especially those nearest to us, our neighbour, and so to the love of all human beings, good and bad, near and far.

So then, you ask me again, to be Christians is important for our present life, since it obliges us to love everyone, and to do good to all of society?

Exactly so, is my reply. The Christian life is of great importance even for our earthly life; it is of importance for all human activity, and for all living together in society: for the family, the school, for work; for peace between all social classes, between the tribes, between the nations. Everywhere, it promotes good, it demands freedom, it asks for justice; it takes care of the weak, the poor, the suffering, and even of its enemies, and of the dead. For the Christian life, when it truly has Christ in its heart, is like a fountain of goodness and love, overflowing on all sides in good (cf. Jn. 4, 14).

Perhaps you now ask me a final question; you ask:

How can we live well our Christian Faith?

Here, then, is how I would summarize all that I would wish to say to you:

First, have great love for Jesus Christ; try to know Him well, remain united to Him, have great Faith and great trust in Him. Second, be faithful to the Church, pray with her, love her, make her known, and always be ready, as your Martyrs were, to bear frank witness to her. Third, be strong and courageous; be content; be happy and joyful always! Because, remember this always, the Christian life is a most beautiful thing! (cf. Phil. 4, 4)."

Paul VI's Address to the members of the Anglican Church of Uganda
Saturday 2 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"From its earliest planning, it was Our earnest desire that in the course of this brief visit to Uganda We should come here, to Namugongo. We wished to meet the Anglican Church which flourishes in this country. We wished to pay homage to those sons of whom it is most proud: those who - together with our own Catholic Martyrs - gave the generous witness of their lives to the Gospel of the Lord we have in common, Jesus Christ. For all of them, there is the same inspired word of praise: “These all died in faith, not having received what was promised, but having seen and greeted it from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Hebr. 11, 13).

In the Martyrs’ spirit of ecumenism, we cannot resolve our differences by mere re-consideration of the past, or judgement upon it. Instead, we must press on in confidence that new light will be given us, to lead us to our goal; we must trust that new strength will be granted us, so that, in obedience to our common Lord, we may all be able to receive the grace of unity.

I The Uganda martyrs were brought together by suffering, and died in faithful witness and hope. They now see, as we must, much to thank God for, “since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect” (Hebr. 11, 40).

Among ecumenical enterprises, the Christian Council in Uganda is particularly flourishing. Since there can be no growth towards unity without strong deep local roots, it is Our prayer and, We feel confident, your prayer also, that the spiritual quality of this association may increase as collaboration extends into new fields.

Thus, not only in Uganda, but in all the great African continent, spiritual hunger will intensify to bring healing to that division of which the Second Vatican Council said that it “openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages that most holy cause, the preaching of the Gospel to every creature” (Unitatis redintegratio, No. 1). May the Lord bless the work of the All-Africa Christian Conference, as it bends its efforts towards the unity of all Christians!

A notable achievement in Christian co-operation is the common effort among the various confessions to provide readily accessible translations of Sacred Scripture, that rich source from which the minds and hearts of men receive the life-giving nourishment of divine Revelation. As the Council declared, “in the ecumenical dialogue itself, the Sacred Word is a precious instrument in the mighty hand of God, for attaining to that unity which the Saviour holds out to all men” (ibidem, No. 21).

This and many other forms of common work in Christ are gathered up in a single resolve. For this is the search we all pursue together, for that true, visible and organic unity which Christ so clearly willed, in order that the world might believe that consummation for which, on the eve of His saving death, He so solemnly prayed to the Father.

In Jesus We express to you, Our Christian brethren, heartfelt greetings and good wishes, in firm and lasting hope, in ardent and sincere charity, invoking rich divine favours and graces."

Pope Paul VI's Address to the civil and religious authorities of Kampala
Saturday 2 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"To you and to the City of Kampala We express Our deep gratitude for your kind welcome, and for the generous hospitality of this Capital of the Republic of Uganda.

Well aware of the arduous labours and numerous sacrifices which have made Our sojourn here so pleasant and so consoling, We assure you and all your collaborators of Our sincere appreciation, and We pray that God may bless and prosper this metropolitan centre and all its inhabitants.

Happiness, prosperity and peace be to this City of Kampala, and to all those who dwell herein!

* * *

Our heart is filled with sentiments of thankfulness to all of Africa, and to all of Uganda, for the honour and joy of Our visit here. But in a most particular way do We owe a debt of gratitude to you, the Civil and Religious Authorities, the self-sacrificing ladies and gentlemen, who have done so much to make Our stay a truly memorable experience.

You have thought of everything, and have provided every service that could add. to the splendour of the occasion, so that this first visit of the Pope to the great Continent of Africa may live in men’s memories and bear fruits of joy and Peace in their hearts.

May God reward you for all your efforts! We know some part of the immense work you have accomplished and We are grateful; but God sees all of your achievement and all of your intentions, and He is faithful to repay a hundredfold. In His name We thank you, and We impart to each of you, your helpers, your families and dear ones, Our heartfelt paternal Apostolic Blessing."

Paul VI's Final Address to the faithful of Uganda
Cathedral of Rubaga, Saturday 2 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Beloved sons and daughters,
We come to the end of Our visit to Uganda! The style of the Pope’s journeys is one of brevity and speed; so that now We are about to depart, having enjoyed two days of great spiritual consolation. We shall never forget your welcome, so very cordial and filial. We shall ever cherish in Our memory and in Our heart the holy impressions of this most happy meeting: your good selves, your loveable people, your courteous Authorities, both civil and military, the dignitaries both of the State of Uganda and of the City of Kampala. And especially you, Venerable Brother, the Most Reverend Emanuel Nsubuga, Archbishop of Kampala, you who have been so kind and so hospitable to Us, and to the persons comprising Our mission; We must assure you of Our deep gratitude. All of you who have collaborated in the success of these days: We paternally thank you, each and every one! And We promise you that We shall transform the happy memory and dutiful thankfulness of Our African voyage into special prayers for each one of you.

We cannot leave this blessed land, however, without addressing a special word to the Clergy, to the Men and Women Religious, to the Brothers and the Sisters, dedicated to the service of Christ and of His Church. Permit Us at least to tell you how great is Our esteem and Our affection for you, precisely because of what you are, because of what you do. We wish to repeat, with the words of Saint Paul: God is Our witness, how We yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus! (cf Phil 1, 8). By Him you have been loved and you have been called, through a spiritual history and experience which has marked your life and your vocation, which is a sign of predilection on His part. He looked upon you and loved you (cf Mk 10, 2 1) and He chose you (cf Jn 15, 16); for your part, you responded, and said Yes to His love; you chose the better part (cf Lk 10, 42); you have given and consecrated yourselves to Him, without reserve and without repentance. You have understood to their very depths the demands of the Kingdom of Heaven; you have given everything, you have given your all for All, that is, for Him Who is Life (cf Mt 19, 29). How, then, could We not love you, Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters of complete dedication to Our Lord Jesus, and of total fidelity to His love and to His cause?

Permit Us to add this also, that in you, in your sacrifice and in your love, We have the strongest and most fruitful hopes for the future of the Church in this young Christian Africa, and even for the future of the Church in the world. You know that the Church is now passing through a time of fervour, which is at the same time a period of unrest, because of the new, agitated state of the world of today. But We think that, if you are good, strong, faithful and fervent, the Church will emerge from this trial even more holy, and better adapted to her mission of salvation among men. It is Our Lord, of course, Who saves souls and saves the world; but not without our ministry and our collaboration. We, who are vowed to His service, can say, with St Paul, “We are God’s fellow workers” (1 Cor 3, 9).

Take heart! Have courage, beloved sons and daughters! Let Us repeat to you also the exhortation of the Apostle Peter, whose most humble successor We are: “Be firm in your faith!” (1 Pet 5, 9). Permit Us also to remind you of the power, We might say the decisive power, of your example upon the young Christianity around you; if you are good and holy, then your communities of faithful will surely be good and holy. Example is the first witness which they have the right to expect from us who are consecrated to the Lord. This is the sermon which all of you, men and women, old and young, can preach: your example! The example of true faith and piety: for if you are in sincere union with Christ, those to whom you dedicate your ministry will be also, the example of charity and concord, especially between local personnel and the personnel coming from outside, from abroad, to plant the Church of God here. Be humble (cf Phil 2, 3; Rom 12, 10); help one another; do not give too much importance to differences of nationality, of education, of race, of tribe; always remember that we are brothers (cf Mt 5, 47; 23, 8; 1 Tim 5, 1; Rom 10, 12; 1 Cor 12, 13; Gal 3, 28). And strive truly to live that ecclesial communion which makes us all one in Christ (Jn 17, 21-23), all one Mystical Body (1 Cor 10, 16-17), for we are the Church, all one thing with Christ and between ourselves. In order that this mystery of twofold unity the sacramental unity with the risen Body of Christ, and the mystical and social unity among ourselves through the Holy Spirit, in the self-same faith and charity may even now, during this life of pilgrimage towards the life to come, be brought to perfection, let us make sure to honour, in the Bishop, the sign and the minister of unity. Let us understand the meaning and the value of the hierarchy in the Church; for we must be united to the Body of Christ as He conceived and organized it, if we wish to live in the Spirit of Christ, that very Spirit which animated that Mystical Body (cf St Ignatius of Antioch; St Augustine; Encyc. Mystici Corporis; Lumen Gentium,18, 19; Eph 4, 11-14). The Bishop! Your own Bishop! Be always close to him, understand his wishes and his needs, give shape and action to the new organization of the ecclesial community, let your obedience be loving and easy, and see in the Bishop your shepherd, your teacher; in fact, see in him Jesus Christ Himself (cf Lumen Gentium, 21)!

Beloved sons and daughters, would you like a final remembrance? Then have filial devotion to Mary most holy, the Blessed Virgin, true Mother of Christ and spiritually our Mother. You will have great need of her - to understand Christ, to serve Him, to imitate Him; you will need consolation and confidence - entrust yourselves to Our Lady (cf Lumen Gentium, 68).

It is to her, as We depart, that We confide the Church of Africa, and especially this Church of yours here. Invoking upon all of you her sweet, powerful, motherly protection, We salute you and once more We bless you.

Goodbye! And, by God’s mercy, may we meet again one day in Heaven!"

Pope Paul VI's words at the Farewell Ceremony
Saturday 2 August 1969 - in English & Italian

"Our last words on the soil of Uganda and of Africa are of thanks to God, Who has shown Us such rich human, religious, and Christian values in all the persons We have had the honour of meeting. Both Catholics and the faithful of other religious denominations have shed their blood upon this land in the name of Almighty God, so that today the national community of Uganda includes differing faiths which respect and esteem one another.

To His Excellency Doctor Obote and this Republic, and to all the Nations of Africa, We offer Our thanks for the generous welcome given to the humble Head of the Catholic Church; and We bear away with Us the vision of this immense multitude of human faces, demonstrating the universality of the vocation to the Faith, already announced to all Nations.

We carry also in Our heart the sufferings of those who have no voice; and for them We shall implore that peace and brotherly help may heal their wounds, cure their maladies, and relieve their poverty. This appeal We address to all men of good will, and especially to those Africans better able to assist their fellow-citizens of this Continent.

Our parting salutation of respect ad esteem is addressed to the Heads of State of Africa, particularly to the Authorities of Uganda, and to the Diplomatic Representatives-all of whom have honoured Us with their presence, all of whom continue their. admirable efforts in favour of peace, development, and justice.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the People of God assembled here: to the Most Eminent Cardinals, the Most Reverend Bishops, the Priests, Sisters and Brothers, Catechists, Lay Apostles, and all of you, beloved Christians and non-Christians! Our intimate union in doing honour to the Uganda Martyrs must persevere, and become always stronger; even after Our departure, you must draw ever closer together in charity, in the Name of the Lord!

Until we meet again, God bless Uganda! God save Africa!

From a heart overflowing with sincere gratitude, We call down upon al1 of you the Blessings of Our Lord."

Papa Paolo VI's words on his return from Uganda
Rome - Saturday, 2 August 1969 - in Italian

"Al termine del pellegrinaggio che Ci ha riportati, dopo alcuni anni, in terra d’Africa, abbiamo il piacere di soffermarCi un attimo, dopo aver posto piede sul suolo italiano, per rispondere alla attestazione di omaggio e di affetto, che Ci è stata offerta con gesto tanto spontaneo e generoso. La ringraziamo, Signor Presidente, della sua presenza qui, La ringraziamo delle sue nobili parole, con cui ha sottolineato il valore del Nostro viaggio: e ringraziamo, con Lei, le Personalità del Governo, del Parlamento, delle Forze Armate che Le fanno corona, come ringraziamo tutti i presenti, e in primo luogo i Cardinali e i Vescovi, i quali, col loro filiale cortese entusiasmo, fanno a Noi sentire più viva la gioia del Nostro ritorno.

Un atto di tanta cortesia, espresso a questa ora notturna, acquista un valore che sappiamo apprezzare, specialmente in chi è obbligato dalle sue occupazioni o dalle sue abitudini a calcolare l’economia del tempo. Non è questo il momento di diffonderci sulle impressioni del Nostro viaggio. Diremo soltanto che esse sono state vivissime e felicissime. Sotto l’aspetto religioso e missionario, innanzi tutto. Il Signore ha benedetto, ancora una volta, il Nostro viaggio. Una notissima, ma icastica e antica parola, quella di Tertulliano, Ci è stata continuamente presente nello spirito, vedendola realizzata con efficacia storica e spirituale meravigliosa: Sanguis Martyrum semen est Christianorum.

Veramente la fecondità dei Martiri che siamo andati a venerare in Uganda ha dato frutti meravigliosi in quella terra magnifica, aggiungendo alle bellezze naturali la prodigiosa ricchezza di un popolo vivo, cosciente, cristiano, aperto alle espansioni della civiltà moderna e fedele ai tesori della propria tradizione etnica ed umana. Bellissimo fenomeno che lascia presagire sviluppi spirituali, culturali, sociali? civili di grandi dimensioni, e che fa pensare, se ancora ve ne fosse bisogno, alle necessità e alla potenza del sacrificio personale, di quello missionario in ispecie, per dare origine a fatti umani di ampiezza storica e sociale di immensa portata.

Poi Noi abbiamo incontrato un’atmosfera piena di voci e di effusioni assai consolanti, e cioè respirante propositi di lavoro, di concordia e di pace. Il volto dell’Uganda, a questo proposito, Ci si è mostrato quello di un Popolo già progredito sulle vie del civile progresso e della coscienza della propria missione di Nazione libera e laboriosa. Ne siamo rimasti grati e ammirati.

Nulla diciamo degli incontri di cui laggiù abbiamo avuto la fortuna di godere: quello dei Vescovi, si può dire, dell’Africa intera, quello di dignitari ecclesiastici e di esponenti di varie denominazioni religiose, quello di numerosi Capi di Stato e di personaggi rappresentativi. Crediamo di non illuderci dicendo che abbiamo incontrato, in sintesi, tutta l’Africa; e non possiamo, al Nostro arrivo, non rivoltarCi indietro per ripeterle il Nostro caloroso e beneaugurante saluto.

Ci sia consentito di riversare queste felici impressioni sul suolo sempre amatissimo di questo Paese, per augurare che, nella saggezza delle sue incomparabili tradizioni e nel fermento del suo pacifico rinnovamento, possa esso pure e come esso solo può fare, contribuire alla moderna civiltà con i suoi valori cristiani e civili.

Ai voti dia efficacia la Nostra benedizione."