First official document promulgated outside the Vatican: John Paul II signed the post synodal exhortation during his 11th pastoral visit to Africa

Monday, 11 April 2005

Vatican City (Fides Service) - On the 14th of September 1995 Pope John Paul II left Rome for his 67th international apostolic journey which took him for the 11th time to Africa, and more precisely to Cameroon, South Africa and Kenya. The occasion was the opening of the celebration stage of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa and Madagascar, held in the Vatican from 10 April to 8 May 1994, and the promulgation of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Africa”. This was the first time the Holy Father promulgated an official document of the Catholic Church outside the Vatican and Rome.
The Pope arrived in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon on the afternoon of 14 September 1995. he had already visited the country in 1985. On 15 September he presided a large open air Mass at the military airport in the morning and a session of the Special Synod for Africa held at Our Lady of Victories Cathedral in the afternoon.
On Saturday 16 September after taking leave of Cameroon the Pope flew to Johannesburg. It was the first time the South Africa welcomed the Pope. On Sunday 17 September the Pope presided a concelebration of Mass at Germiston Race Course in Johannesburg and in the afternoon a Synod session in the Christ the King Cathedral.
On Monday 18, the Pope left South Africa on the last lap of his journey and reached Nairobi. This was his third visit to Kenya, after 1980 and 1985. On Tuesday 19 September the Pope presided Mass Uhuru Park followed in the afternoon by the Synod Session at the Resurrection Garden Retreat Centre in Nairobi. The Pope arrived back in Rome in the evening of 20 September 1995. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 11/4/2005)


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