Pope: Europe corrupts Africa

14/05/2005 12:13  - (SA)

Rome - In a stern criticism of colonialism, Pope Benedict XVI said on Friday that along with Christianity, Europe had brought corruption and violence to the African continent.

The newly-elected pontiff said in a meeting with Rome's clergy: "We have to confess that Europe has exported not only faith in Christ, but also all sorts of vices, the sense of corruption, and violence that devastates" the continent.

The German-born pope, answering a question of an African priest posted in the diocese of Rome, said: "Our responsibility is that the export of faith be stronger than the export of vice."
The pope said: "We trade in weapons, we abuse the treasures of this land, and we, Christians, must make sure that along with faith there be found the strength to resist the vices and to create a happy Christian Africa, a great continent of new humanism."

The pope's statement was one of the few answers he gave to the numerous speeches made by priests in their first meeting with the pontiff, who was also bishop of Rome.

Benedict XVI was elected last month to succeed John Paul II, who died
on April 2.

Edited by Andiswa Mesatywa