Pope Francis representative to Malawi and Zambia, Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone, has disclosed he has talked to the Holy Father to consider visiting Malawi during his next tour to Africa in September.
The last time Malawi had a papal visit was in May 1989 by late Pope John Paul II.
Gallone who was appointed by Vatican on February 2 made the disclosure during his first meeting with the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) in the capital Lilongwe last week.
He said considering that Malawi is one of the poorest countries and the Pope being a darling of the poor, he thought it would interest the Successor of St Peter to pay the country a visit during his tour of Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.
Archbishop Gallone arrived in Zambia on April 26 to start his diplomatic mission in both Zambia and Malawi replacing Archbishop Julio Murat who was transferred to Cameroon.
“Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. And Pope Francis loves the poor. So, I asked him that as he comes to visit Mozambique, he should also pay Malawi a visit as a lover of the poor people,” Gallone told AMECEA News.
According to him, it was impressive that the clergy and lay Catholics continue to work hand in hand in “evangelizing Malawi” as well as “promoting the Catholic faith.”
He said: “It’s true your Grace [ECM chairperson, Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa], that the laity are supporting the clergy to preserve the Catholic faith and to transmit to the younger generation the Catholic faith. Thank you so much and I invoke on you the blessing of the Good Lord to give you strength because this country has stagnated because of the natural disasters the country has suffered over the past years.”
In his remarks, Msusa said the presence of the nuncio was imperative as it lays bare the unity between Vatican and the local church.
He said: “We are very happy because we now are able to share our faith and our challenges through him (the Nuncio) with Pope Francis. So, we are very happy. His first message to me was that he is happy to be in Malawi and we are working hard to construct a Nunciature so that, in the next few months he should relocate and stay right here in Malawi.”
Gallone replaced Archbishop Julio Murat who is presently serving in Cameroon.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :