Holy Father in Benin

18/11/2011 8:45 am

Pope Benedict on an Alitalia aircraft

18-20 November 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Benin on Friday 18 November – this will be his second papal trip to Africa and his 22nd apostolic journey. He visited Angola and Cameroon in 2009.

The main aim of this Papal Visit is to publish the fruits of the international Bishops' meeting in Rome - the Synod for Africa - which took place in 2009. This document is known as a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation - a direct communication of Pope Benedict XVI that serves as a response to that Rome meeting encouraging reflection on the key challenges facing the people and the Church throughout Africa.

Synod discussions focused on a wide range of issues from HIV/AIDS, poverty and governance to women's issues, migration and family life. This was the second Special Assembly for Africa, the first was convened by Pope John Paul II in 1994.

On 23-26 May 2010, around 146 delegates met in Mumemo, Mozambique, under the auspices of SECAM, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa, and Caritas Africa, to discuss the 57 propositions that had come out of the Second Special Assembly of Bishops for Africa in order to prioritise and plan how they would work together to put into practice the conclusions of the Assembly.

The priorities that they discussed the most were, the role of the Church in promoting Justice and Peace, Governance and the promotion of the role of women in the Church and in their societies.

The Holy Father will also mark the 150th anniversary of the evangelisation of Benin.

In 1861 two priests of the Society of African Missions in Ouidah arrived in Benin and today a very large cross marks the landing point of these two missionaries. He will also pray beside the tomb of his former colleague Cardinal Bernardin Gantin of Benin, the former Dean of the College of Cardinals, who died in 2008.

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Round table discussion on the 2009 Synod from our archives


Africa Synod: Propositions Summary 368.26 kB
Africa Synod: Propositions 453.39 kB
Mumemo Declaration: A New Pentecost for Africa (English) 189.75 kB


Full Itinerary of the Holy Father's visit to Benin

Speeches, homilies and addresses on vatican.va

SECAM - Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa

Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops 
The link above carries all the documents from recent Synod of Bishops meetings in Rome. The Africa Synod can be found by scrolling down.