Pope Francis, President Museveni meet, confirm Papal visit to Uganda

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Pope Francis, President Museveni meet, confirm Papal visit to Uganda

Date: 
Monday 27th October 2014
State House Uganda

Pope Francis has expressed willingness to come to Uganda to officiate at the 5Oth anniversary of the canonization of Uganda Catholic Martyrs at Namugongo next year.

The Pope was today meeting President Yoweri Museveni at his office at the Papal building in the Caticano. The President was accompanied by the First Lady Janet Museveni and a powerful government delegation including Ministers; Adolf Mwesigye Local Government, the Chief Whip Hon. Kasule Lumumba and Minister of Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem.

Others in the delegation include LCV chairperson Kamuli District Salaam Musumba who is representing leaders of local governments, Mama Thereza Mbire a senior advisor to the President representing the Laity Catholics, MP Margret Alepune who is representing the Catholic Chapter in the Parliament, Monsignor Odongo, the Vicar General of Gulu Diocese representing the Archbishop and Mzee Victor Kobero who is representing the business community. Mengo was represented by Kalule Mugerwa.

Museveni who is on a four day working visit to Italy. The Pope explained that he is willing and looking forward to the trip. He said that  Uganda Martyrs are considered very important in the Catholic Church. “I am willing to come to Uganda,”he stressed.

President Museveni arrived at the Vatican at 9OO am Rome local time and inspected  a guard of honour mounted by the Papal guards who were clad in their yellow uniform with dark blue and red stripes. The boots had the same yellow stripes.

After the guard of honour, the President was led inside the building by  two lines of papal officials led by the Popes "gentlemen”.

The gentlemen, according to Vatican officials, usher in very important visitors. They wore grey suits and white tee shirts with Christian medals. He was later taken to the Pope's office where he had a one on one meeting that lasted for half an hour. Later the first lady was introduced to the Pope.

President Museveni introduced his delegation to his host by their names one by one as they shook hands with the Pope. After the official delegation, the humble Pope invited a team of the Presidential Press Unit and other members of staff who accompanied the President to greet him. Dr Mumtaz Kassam also greeted him.

Uganda's ambassador to the Vatican Marcel Tibaleka, Victor Paul Kobel of Tororo, AleperMargaret Achilla, Woman Representative (Kotido) were also present.

The Pope gave gifts to his visitors including rosaries and his book on Faith and Social development. He also gave a St. Martin Medal named after an important missionary in the Catholic church to the President.

President Museveni in return gave the Pope a copy of his book `Sowing the Mustard Seed’ and a portrait of the Crested Crane Uganda's symbol.

Later President Museveni held talks with Cardinal Pietro Parolin the Secretary of State of the Vatican.

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