Pope Francis will not be coming to Uganda this year, the Office of the President has confirmed. The Roman Catholic Church, through President Museveni, had invited the Holy Father for the golden jubilee celebration of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). SECAM is an assembly of Africa bishops.
Uganda Episcopal Conference secretary general Msgr John Kauta in a statement issued on Thursday said they have received confirmation from the Office of the President that Pope Francis will not be visiting Uganda as earlier anticipated.
"In 2018, the Uganda Episcopal Conference on behalf of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) requested His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to invite His Holiness Pope Francis for the climax of the Golden Jubilee of SECAM scheduled for July 2019," Msgr Kauta said in a press statement.
He added; "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."
Kauta said SECAM celebration will proceed as planned and over 400 bishops from across the continent are expected to attend. The celebrations will be under the theme; "Church, Family of God in Africa, Celebrate your Jubilee. Proclaim Meet and Welcome Christ your Saviour.
Expectations of Pope's visit were high given that he has two scheduled visits to Africa this year. He is expected to visit Morocco in March and Madagascar later.
The date for the Pope's visit to Madagascar has not yet been scheduled. It was expected that dates for his visit to Madagascar would be fixed around the date when he had been invited to Uganda.