Vatican To Join Fight Against Ebola

mnbThe Vatican has proposed to join the global effort in fighting the deadly Ebola disease which is killing scores of people in West Africa.

As a first step, it would send humanitarian assistance to the affected countries  through the United Nations global coordinated efforts which is being carried out from Ghana.

Pope Francis disclosed this when he granted audience to President John Mahama, here at the Vatican, in Rome, Italy.

The President who is on a two- day official visit to the Vatican, is accompanied by the First Lady, Lordina Mahama, and the Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh. 

In a meeting behind closed doors, the Pope and President Mahama, were said to have discussed a number of global and bilateral issues.

Sources close to the meeting said the Ebola disease which had killed several hundreds of people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone dominated the talks.

Pope Francis, who was inspired to choose the name Francis because of the poor and neglected  as was epitomized by St Francis of Assisi in the 1220s,was said to have sympathized with the affected  countries and families who had lost relatives through the Ebola scourge and promised to support the global effort.

This was after President. Mahama , was said to have briefed the Pope on bilateral and multilateral issues in Ghana and the West Africa sub-region.

The Pope, who is exemplifying in the trace, as  he puts into practice everyday his advocacy for the marginalized  and the disadvantaged, expressed sadness that the disease had brought about untold hardship on the people of the affected countries including a large orphaned population.

He prayed that the global effort, including that of the ECOWAS, would soon bring  the disease under control to enable the people, of the various countries to lead normal lives.

Pope Francis hinted that, he would visit Africa soon as part of a regional tour, that would take  him to countries facing challenges and those who had been successful in maintaining democratic stability.

President Mahama expressed gratitude to the Pope for the invitation and hoped that the visit would further enhance the relationship between Ghana and the Holy See.

The President extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit Ghana as part of his  African tour.

In a related development, President, Mahama  also held discussions with Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Council of Peace  at the Vatican.

He also interacted with the Cardinal Pietro Patolim, Secretary of State of the Holy See here in Rome.
Their discussions centered on efforts being made by the Vatican to support the war against the Ebloa scourge and the relationship between the state and the church.

From Dave Agbenu, Rome, Italy

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