Business World online reports that after he flew back from Central African Republic after a three-nation tour of Africa, Pope Francis spoke in front of his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City. He focussed on fundamentalism, saying that it is not just an Islamic problem but something which exists in all religions, including the Catholic church:
‘It is a disease of all religions. We Catholics, we have a few, even many fundamentalists. They believe they know absolute truth and corrupt others. I can say this because this is my church.’
He hailed Africa as ‘the continent of hope’ and made a powerful impression on both Muslim rebels and Christian militias in Central African Republic
He visited a mosque in the Muslim PK5 area of Bangui in the Central African Republic where he was given an enthusiastic reception by thousands of people. Before he held a papal mass at the capital’s Barthelemy Boganda stadium, a group of Muslim rebels from the PK5 area leapt out of two pickup trucks, all wearing T-shirts bearing the Pope’s image. As they pushed through the crowd in an area where Muslims usually do not dare to venture, people cheered and shouted: ‘It’s over’.
In Kenya Pope Francis called on Christian and Muslim ‘brothers and sisters’ to end the sectarian conflict that has torn the country apart: ‘Together, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself’.