Pope Francis has thanked President Yoweri Museveni and Speaker of Parliament Anita Among for protecting family values, urging them to continue on the same path to safeguard future generations.
In a private audience with Ms Among at the Vatican-Rome, on Friday August 25, 2023, Pope Francis said family is the backbone of society, which deserves collective protection.
“I thank you [Anita Among], Parliament and the people of Uganda for upholding family values; the family is the rock on which society stands,” the Holy Father said.
Pope Francis commended Ms Among for her leadership of Parliament, encouraging her to remain steadfast in legislating to promote societal and godly values. This comes following Parliament’s passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that criminalises same-sex marriages.
The Pope also hailed President Museveni as a brilliant leader who has worked for humanity through the government’s protection of human rights and its welcoming stance towards refugees.
“I also thank Uganda for being a very hospitable nation as far as hosting refugees is concerned,” Pope Francis said.
The Pope also congratulated Mr Museveni upon his 50th marriage anniversary.
“I send warm congratulations and wishes to His Excellence the President, and the first lady Janet Museveni upon their golden Jubilee Anniversary, and for the President’s brilliance in leading the people through catastrophes such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and the belief in culture and values,” Pope Francis said.
He urged Speaker Among to remain steadfast in protecting religious values.
“I urge you to continue standing by your strong Christian values and always promote legislation that will ensure freedom of worship, economic freedom and social justice as exemplified in the Bible; as a Parliamentarian always be sensitive to decisions and legislation that separates people from the will of God,” he said
In response, Speaker Among thanked the Pope for his prayers and blessings towards her leadership, and extended greetings from President Museveni.
She appreciated Pope Francis for inviting and according her private audience at the Vatican.
This is Among’s third visit to the Vatican.