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Pope Benedict XVI Praises Ernest Koroma Government in Sierra Leone
By Abdul Karim Kabia
Dec 22, 2008, 00:36
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Reports monitored by Awareness Times indicate that last Friday December 19th 2008, Pope Benedict XVI has praised the Ernest Bai Koroma Government and the people of Sierra Leone for their combined efforts at fighting corruption and promoting democracy in Sierra Leone. The Holy Father and Head of the Catholic Church was speaking whilst he received in audience, Sierra Leones Ambassador to the Holy See, Dr. Christian Sheka Kargbo. During their discussions, the Pope reportedly praised the end of political instability and conflict in Sierra Leone as a "sign of hope" for Africa and the world.


President Koroma

"Your countrys return to peace and stability, after many years of conflict, is a great sign of hope for Africa and for the world," Pope Benedict reportedly said adding, that Sierra Leone was "blessed to be free" of ethnic and religious conflict.

President Ernest Koroma and V.P Alhaji Sam Sumana

"Indeed, the recent elections manifested the peoples desire for a lasting peace and a solid democracy. The smooth transition from one government to another speaks well of the countrys political representatives and their desire to serve their constituencies." Pope Benedict said.

The Holy Father said it was "edifying" for Sierra Leone, to emerge as a successful democratic Nation after so many destructive years of violence whilst expressing his hopes for the nation to continue building strong democratic institutions that foster justice.

According to reports, the Pope also hailed President Ernest Koromas Anti Corruption steps taken especially the priority given to repair "the moral fiber of society," with the desired "eradication of corrupt practices" that should lead to a more equitable distribution of the Nations wealth.

"Experience has shown that nations can make steady progress only when the majority of their citizens are properly nourished, well educated and respectful toward others," the Pontiff noted whilst assuring that the Catholic Church will "continue to cooperate in the promotion of a moral climate of hope for the future. Indeed, she is pleased to contribute to this important task especially in the field of education, where new generations of young people are formed so as to become active and responsible members of society".

"This mission is all the more successful and fulfilling for all involved when educational institutions, inspired by religious values and principles, can enjoy a sufficient and acceptable degree of institutional autonomy and initiative."

Speaking on the absence of ethnic and religious conflict from Sierra Leone, Pope Benedict told Ambassador Christian Kargbo that, "Diversity, in language and customs, represents a richness that must be valued. Moreover, religion teaches its adherents to consider others as brothers and sisters who are called together in the great human family to build up a common home in peace and cooperation."

The Holy Father expressed the opinion that by Sierra Leoneans regularly engaging in inter-religious dialogue, the Catholic Church was confident that, "the example of a close, respectful relationship among religious leaders will bring believers to consolidate their attitudes of mutual understanding and peaceful cooperation."

Ambassador Dr. Christian Sheka Kargbo is not only Sierra Leones Ambassador to The Vatican (Holy See) but is also based in Brussels, Belgium as Sierra Leones Ambassador to a number of other European based units including the European Union (EU).

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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