Cardinal Parolin in Angola for the ordination of the first Angolan Nuncio: “I bring you the Pope’s blessing.”
Arriving in Luanda today, he was welcomed by Church and government representatives. With the affectionate greetings of the faithful gathered, Cardinal Parolin told them: "I am happy to be here; this is my first visit." Asked by local media about a possible trip of the Pope to the country, the Cardinal replied, “I believe the Holy Father wishes that with all his heart.”
Salvatore Cernuzio - Vatican City
With singing, dancing and applause from a group of nuns and women in traditional dress, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, was welcomed today, 11 August, in Luanda, Angola.
In this African country, the Cardinal will preside tomorrow over the the episcopal ordination of the first Angolan Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop-elect Germano Penemote, appointed by the Pope on 16 June as his representative in Pakistan.
First time in Angola
This is the first visit to Angola for Parolin, who has visited Africa on so many occasions.
“I am pleased to be here; this is my first time,” he said to the group of faithful who gave him a festive welcome outside the Nunciature in Luanda. “Muito obrigado,” the Cardinal said, adding, “I also bring you the blessing of Pope Francis. Although there will not be much time because we are going straight to Ondjiva, I know that the whole Angolan Church will be present at the ordination of the first Apostolic Nuncio from this land.”
Archbishop-elect Penemote’s ordination Mass will take place in the Diocese of Ondjiva, Cunene Province, at 09.30 a.m. (08.30 a.m. Rome time) tomorrow, Saturday, 12 August. On Sunday, the Secretary of State will return to the Archdiocese of Luanda and will pray with the parish community of São Paulo.
Warm welcome by the faithful
In Angola, Cardinal Parolin arrived this morning. He landed at the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport, Luanda. He was welcomed by several Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST), the lay faithful and representatives of government departments. He was then taken to the Nunciature where he received an affectionate reception of the faithful with whom he prayed the Lord’s Prayer. He greeted the staff of the Pontifical Representation followed by a prayer in the Little Chapel.
A possible visit by the Pope
Local media interviewed Cardinal Parolin, who said that he was in Angola for the episcopal ordination, “I thought it was a good occasion to highlight this event.” An event “important for the universal Church and for this land” that he had never, he reiterated, visited before. “I was interested in being here for this precious occasion.” He added that Nuncio-elect Penemote's ordination “has a special significance for Rome because the Bishop who will be ordained will be a representative of the Pope and is the first representative of the Pope from this land,” he said.
Asked about a possible visit to Angola by Pope Francis, the Secretary of State said, “Who knows... I’m not a prophet, but I think the Pope is very interested in a possible visit. He has already said he would like to be here on an upcoming trip to Africa. I think he wishes with all his heart that he can come here,” said Cardinal Parolin.