Just one week before his planned visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis criticized the “colonialist mentality” of the world community toward Africa in an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican.
“There is a historical, geographical reality. In Italian it is said ‘Africa va fruttata’, that is, Africa is meant to be exploited. And that is a kind of colonialist mentality that remains,” said Francis on Tuesday.
He pointed to a problem of attitude toward the African continent.
“A kind of colonialist mentality…remains,” Francis said.
“That is a problem of our attitude and of not yet (having the) courage of total independence on their part.”
Earlier in January Francis had sent his condolences to the victims of a bombing on a Pentecostal church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Islamic militants claimed the attack, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60.
Pope Francis is due to arrive in the capital of Congolese Kinshasa on Jan. 31 for a three-day visit.
When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu.