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Will Pope Francis visit Kenya in November?

Banner general audience with pope francis 5 march 11 2015 credit bohumil petrik cna 3 11 15

Pope Francis at the General Audience address in St. Peter's Square, March 11, 2015. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Uganda, Central African Republic … and Kenya? There are no details yet for Pope Francis' trip to Africa this November, but Kenyan media have announced that a Vatican delegation is expected next week to prepare for the Pope's arrival. Initially, according to the website of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Pope Francis was expected to travel to Africa Nov. 27-29, visiting Uganda and Central African Republic. Later the idea of Kenya was added: it borders Uganda's east, and locals are already betting on a three-day papal visit to their nation. The supposition is supported by the fact that the prefecture's website now lists the Africa trip as lasting Nov. 25-30. The Daily Nation, a Nairobi-based paper, maintains that the precise size and dates of next week's delegation from the Vatican remain unknown. But the paper writes that the delegation will be welcomed by Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi and Archbishop Charles Balvo, apostolic nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan. Archbishop Peter Kairo of Nyeri has said the delegation will oversee preparations for the Pope's arrival, and discuss security issues with the relevant government bodies. According to the archbishop, the Pope's visit in Kenya should last three days – he said that “We are expecting him to arrive here on November 25 whereby he will be welcomed in the country by President Uhuru Kenyatta.” He added that three committees are being formed at the moment, composed of archbishops and other Church figures who have previously helped in coordinating large events, such as the beatification of Sister Irene Sefani. Fr. Peter Githinji of the Nyeri archdiocese, who coordinated that beatification, hopes Pope Francis will declare as martyrs the 75 faithful who were killed for their faith during the Mau Mau Uprising during the 1950s. Such a celebration tie in with Pope Francis' visit to Uganda, where he is expected to canonize that nation's martyrs.

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