Royalty and statesmen

Thousands of people lined the road to catch a glimpse of the Catholic leader as he made his way from the airport into the Cameroonian capital on Tuesday at the start of a week-long visit
Photo: PA
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At his meeting with Cameroon bishops on Wednesday the pontiff - who was bringing them details of an October synod - was presented with a tapestry gift
Photo: PA

Rapturous welcome for Pope Benedict on first visit to Africa

19 MARCH 2009
Thousands of people lined the route taken by Pope Benedict XVI from the airport to the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde on Tuesday as the spiritual leader arrived for a week-long stay on the continent.

Although it is the Bavaria-born Pontiff's 11th overseas trip since he ascended to the papal throne in 2005, it's his first to Africa. And he received a rapturous welcome, with local people turning out in force to catch a glimpse of him.

The Catholic leader, who was officially welcomed by the country's president Paul Biya, was bringing Africa's bishops a preview of the topics for the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican this October.

On Friday the 81-year-old heads for Luanda, the Angolan capital, where he'll be helping celebrate the 500th anniversary of the country's evangelisation by Portuguese Franciscan monks in the 15th century.

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