In Summary
  • Pope Francis has worked his magic simply by displaying a humanism that has disarmed even the most hardened critics of the church.
  • Where once intolerance reigned supreme, he has brought a message of compassion.

Kenya will have the rare privilege of hosting its fourth Papal visit this week when Pope Francis lands in the country on Wednesday evening at the start of a highly anticipated tour to Africa.

A visit by the leader of one of the world’s great faiths is a major occasion at the best of times.

But a visit from this particular Pope is a moment to savour.

Pope Francis, the first Latin American leader of the Catholic church, has demonstrated that a church which was widely seen as being in decline, beset by scandals relating to abuse of children by clerics and which was losing numbers rapidly in the face of the rise of evangelical congregations, could yet be revived.

Pope Francis has worked his magic simply by displaying a humanism that has disarmed even the most hardened critics of the church.

Where once intolerance reigned supreme, he has brought a message of compassion.

Where once the church was inward looking and obsessed with doctrinal purity, he has brought forth a message of inclusion and loosened rigid observance of rules which are no longer relevant.

The Pope will be particularly welcome to Kenya because he has displayed, during his papacy, a capacity to look beyond Europe and embrace the concerns of people around the world.

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