Climate, post-conflict peace on pope's Africa agenda

1010 WINS Newsroom
September 03, 2019 - 9:37 am

Pope Francis salutes pilgrims and faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the Vatican after his weekly general audience, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis heads this week to the southern African nations of Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius, visiting some of the world's poorest countries in a region hard hit by some of his biggest concerns: conflict, corruption and climate change.

The Sept. 4-10 trip is Francis' second pilgrimage to sub-Saharan Africa, which the Catholic Church is looking to as its future given that Africa is one of the few places on Earth where Catholic communities and priestly vocations are growing.

Francis will encourage that growth, especially as he honors Catholics who were instrumental in spreading the faith in Africa before him. Among them is Jacques-Desire Laval, a 19th century French missionary who dedicated his life to preaching to the black slaves of Mauritius.