Pope Francis declines second invitation to Uganda

The much anticipated second visit of Pope Francis to Uganda will not happen, Uganda Episcopal Conference  (UEC) has announced.

Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, had been invited to attend the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

The SECAM was launched in 1969 by Pope Paul VI during his visit to Uganda which coincided with the convening of its first symposium following the 1968 approval of its establishment by the second Vatican Council.

The Bishops of Africa had wanted the Pontiff to grace their celebration in July this year, which would be his second visit to Uganda in a period of four years.

However, a statement by the UEC secretary general Monsignor John Baptist Kauta,  the Pope will not be coming.

“The office of the President of Uganda has officially communicated to the Ugandan Episcopal Conference that the Holy Father will not be able to attend the symposium,” Msgr Kauta stated.

Over 400 Catholic Bishops are expected to attend the celebrations that are scheduled to kick off with Mass on July 23, at Lubaga Cathedral and run through to July 28, when the closing Mass will be celebrated  at Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo under the theme; Church, Family of God in Africa, celebrate your Jubilee! Proclaim Meet and Welcome Christ your Savior.”