LIRA – The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Uganda this year, government has said.
According to the Minister of Lands, Ms Betty Amongi, the Holy Father, as the leader of the Catholics is usually called, will be in Uganda in July for an African Bishops conference, under the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
“The government has received a letter from the Vatican that His Holiness, Pope Francis is again returning to Uganda in July for a very important international conference. My ministry and that of Finance have been directed to renovate Namugongo Catholic Martyrs shrine and release the funds for preparation of the Pope’s visit,” she said.
The minister made the remarks during the installation R.t Rev. Sanctus Linos Wanok as Bishop of Lira Diocese in Lira Town on Saturday.
The Pope was invited by African Catholic bishops under their umbrella body, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), which will converge in Uganda to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Pope Francis last visited Uganda in November 2015.
At the same event, President Yoweri Museveni asked the church to instill moral integrity among the youth so that they can become useful citizens.
In his letter read by Vice President Edward Sekandi, Mr Museveni observed that the youth of these days lack moral integrity.
The President noted that fighting corruption in Uganda is still a big challenge because the youth prefer acquiring illegal wealth got through corrupt means to working for it.
“I call upon you to come out and join me in fighting corruption which is still a big problem in this country,” the President said.
He also asked the church to fight witchcraft and human sacrifice which are still common in some parts of the country.
The President donated a brand new vehicle to Bishop Sanctus Linos Wanok, and the Vice President said the vehicle would be handed over to the new bishop soon to help him in doing God’s work.
Bishop Wanok, 62, was installed and put on the cathedral chair by the Archbishop of Gulu John Baptist Odama. The ceremony was witnessed by the Chairman of Uganda Episcopal Conference, Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa.
Bishop Wanok was appointed by Pope Francis in November last year to replace Bishop Joseph Franzelli who retired after serving for 14 years. Bishop Wanok had previously headed Nebbi diocese for 7 years before he was transferred to Lira diocese in the same capacity.