Pope says he was surprised by crowds, joy in Africa

Categories: Latest News

November 30, 2015

Pope Francis sits next to Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi during a meeting with the Muslim community at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 30. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters) See POPE-BANGUI-PEACE Nov. 30, 2015.

Pope Francis sits next to Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi during a meeting with the Muslim community at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 30. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM AFRICA (CNS) — Pope Francis told reporters he is well aware that God is a god of surprises, but he had not been prepared for what a surprise his first visit to Africa would be.

Obviously tired, but equally content, Pope Francis told reporters he prayed in a mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, and rode around a Muslim neighborhood with the imam seated with him in the popemobile. Both were spontaneous initiatives of the pope Nov. 30, his last day in Africa.

Returning to Rome from Bangui later that day, the pope spent more than 60 minutes with reporters in the back of his plane, responding to their questions.

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