By Godfrey Kampamba
During their encounter, the Holy Father and Mr. Touadera focused their discussion on the existing good bilateral relations between the Holy See and the Central African Republic. Apart from looking at issues regarding the current situation in the country, the two leaders also expressed their satisfaction about the ratification of the Framework Agreement between the two states, underscoring the importance of the contribution of the Catholic Church in the construction of the Central African Republic, and acknowledged the role of Catholic institutions in the fields of education and healthcare.
The meeting between the pope and Mr. Touadera came just two days after the inauguration of the Bangui Pediatric Hospital, constructed with the sponsorship of Pope Francis, for which president Touadera expressed his and the gratitude of the people of his country.
Ratification of Framework Agreement between Holy See and CAR
Soon after his meeting with the pope, Mr. Touadera went on to meet with the secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. During this occasion, the secretary of State gave President Touadera the Instrument of the Ratification of the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Central African Republic. The Framework Agreement was signed on 6 September 2016 in Bangui and concerns matters of mutual interest. A communique from the Vatican later on Tuesday announced the entry into force of the Framework agreement.
Meeting with St. Egidio Community
From the Vatican, the central African Republican president visited the Sant’Egidio Community in Rome, where he was received by the founder, Prof. Andrea Riccardi, and other leaders of the Community.I have come here because this is a house of peace that has come to mean a lot for my country, said president Touadera, underlining the strong links of friendship that have united the Central African Republic and the Sant'Egidio Community, even in the darkest hours of the country.
Touadera also expressed his gratitude for the work of the Sant’Egidio Community in the cure of HIV and AIDS through a programme known as DREAM, and through which a centre has been opened to take care of the sick.