Vatican confirms Pope’s visit to Uganda

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Uganda on November 27-29, this year, during his 6-day first Africa trip.

The pontiff will visit Kenya from November 25 to 27, spend the next two days in Uganda, and travel on to the Central African Republic, where the trip will wind up on November 30.

In Uganda, Francis will commemorate the canonisation by pope Paul VI in 1964 of the first African saints – 22 young people killed in 1878 on the orders of the local ruler because they refused to renounce their Christian faith.

Pope Francis had previously said he hoped to visit the three countries but that organizational problems had held up final confirmation.

The secretary General Uganda Episcopal Conference John Baptism Kauta says the program of the Pope’s visit will be released at an optimal time.

Until yesterday, organisers kept on the edge because the pontiff eight months ago said a trip here was a “hypothetical” likelihood because his handlers needed to schedule it in a season without rain disruptions or Ebola threat.

The pope first hinted on a possible Uganda and CAR trip during a January 19, 2015 in-flight press conference while returning from the Philippines, but said an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and logistical demands had held back his “overdue” Africa tour.

He will be the third pope to visit Uganda after Pope John Paul II in 1993 and Pope Paul VI in 1969.