Catholic Church's “important role” in Tanzania Highlight in President-Pope Francis Meeting

Pope Francis and the President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the Republic of Tanzania during their encounter in the Vatican. Credit: Vatican Media

The “important role” the Catholic Church plays in Tanzania was one of the highlights during the meeting between the President of the East African nation, Samia Suluhu Hassan, and Pope Francis at the Vatican.

During the Monday, February 12 “cordial discussions” that took place at the Secretariat of State, “appreciation was expressed for the existing good relations between the Holy See and Tanzania”, a report by Holy See Press Office indicates.

“In particular, mention was made of the important role played by the Catholic Church in the country in favor of the population, especially in the charitable, educational, and healthcare spheres,” the February 12 Holy See Press Office report further indicates.

After reflecting on the role of the Church in the East African nation, the report indicates that "attention then turned to themes related to the social context in Tanzania, and the challenges the country is required to face.”

“In addition, there was an exchange of views on the regional situation and current international events, auguring ever greater commitment to the promotion of peace,” the report shows.


During the visit, President Suluhu also met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, as well as the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

President Samia gifted Pope Francis a cross made of Tanzanite, a gemstone mined in Tanzania.

The Tanzanian Head of State was on a visit to the Vatican following Pope Francis' invitation, Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, said about the anticipated visit on January 22.

Relations between Tanzania and the Vatican started in 1960 when the latter set up the Apostolic Nunciature in the country.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.