Pope calls for harmony and strong family values
27 November 2015, 08:13
Nairobi - Thousands of Catholic faithful celebrated Mass with Pope Francis on the second day of his official visit to Kenya.
In his message the Pope called for unity, tolerance and strengthening of family values for a better society.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta joined the Catholic faithful in celebrating the Mass at the University of Nairobi sports ground.
Thousands of enthusiastic Kenyans filled Nairobi streets from as early as 3:00 am despite the rains that pounded the city the whole night. The pilgrims streamed to the venue singing hymns and braving the chilly weather in readiness to celebrate the papal Mass.
Uhuru Park and Central park were filled to capacity as faithful keenly watched and participated in the celebration through huge mounted TV screens.
In his homily, Pope Francis called on Kenyans to continue embracing strong family values based on the word of God and African traditions.
He said couples need to cherish one another to build an environment of stable families saying God’s desire is to have strong families built on the foundation of his holy word.
“God wants all of us to build our lives in the foundation of his word, that is the charge the Lord gives to each of us,” said Pope Francis.
He also challenged Kenyans to show concern for the poor and learn to live in harmony and respect with one another.
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“May God bless all Kenyans with His peace, stand strong in faith. Do not be afraid, for you belong to the Lord. Mungu awabariki. Mungu abariki Kenya,” he said.
The Pope also urged the youth to build a just society that is inclusive.
“Here in the heart of this university where the minds and hearts of the young are being shaped, I appeal to the young people of this generation to build a society that is more just and inclusive. May you always be concerned for the welfare of the poor,” he said. “In obedience to the Word, we are called to resist practices which foster arrogance in men, and hurt or demean women.”
The pontiff denounced abortion and corruption among other vices in the society.
John Cardinal Njue expressed deep gratitude to Pope Francis for visiting Kenya and conducting public Mass.
“We are greatly indebted to you for this gesture, your visit here has been a source of strength and spiritual nourishment” said Cardinal Njue.
He thanked President Kenyatta for ensuring the success of the Pope’s visit and constantly monitoring preparations for the pontiff.
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