Pope Leaves Africa With Spiritual `Road Map'

COTONOU, Benin (AP) -- Pope Benedict has wrapped up a pilgrimage to Africa.

Benedict, during a visit to Benin laid out his spiritual vision for the continent and told tens of thousands during an open air Mass that "true royalty does not consist in a show of power." The comments were interpreted by Africans as a jab at the continent's corrupt rulers.

The 84-year-old pope, who recently began using a moving platform
to get across the long aisle at St. Peter's Basilica, weathered the
intense heat inside Benin's unventilated chapels and parishes to
deliver the layered message on how Africa can emerge from war and
poverty.

The pastoral guide includes advice on everything from treating
AIDS, to the respect that should be shown toward indigenous
beliefs. The dissertation reveals the importance that Africa now
plays for the Roman Catholic Church, a region whose congregations
are growing more quickly than anywhere else.

The core of his message was aimed at the individual and called
on Africans to forgive those that have trespassed against them in
order to halt the cycle of violence plaguing the continent.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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