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Naming of Street after Pope Benedict XVI “brings hope to Burkina Faso, Africa”: Cardinal

The Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina and Niger unveils the placard bearing Pope Benedict XVI Street in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou/ Credit: Fr. Paul Dah

The naming of the Ouagadougou where the Apostolic Nunciature in Burkina Faso is located after Pope emeritus Benedict XVI “brings hope” to the West African nation as well as the African continent, the Cardinal in the country has said.

Speaking at the Sunday, June 13 ceremony to unveil the newly named street, previously called street 54.160, Philippe Cardinal Ouédraogo described Benedict XVI as a great pastor whose name “brings hope to Burkina Faso, to Africa and to the world and promotes the spirit of dialogue, reconciliation, justice and peace in the hearts of all people.”

“Let us make this street a place where peace awakens faith,” the Archbishop of Ouagadougou added.

Also speaking at the event, the Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina Faso and Niger, Archbishop Michael Francis Crotty said the naming of the street “is a sign of gratitude to the Pope, now emeritus, who established the Apostolic Nunciature in Ouagadougou on June 12, 2007, and on the same day appointed Archbishop Vito Rallo as the first Apostolic Nuncio resident in the country.”

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The representative of the Holy Father in the West African nation thanked the Ouagadougou city council for “the honor” bestowed on the Pope emeritus, adding that the street is also significant because “the rectorate of the Catholic University of West Africa (UCAO) is also located on Benedict XVI Street.” 

“I am personally pleased that from now on the headquarters of UCAO will bear in its address the name of Pope Benedict XVI, known for his intelligence and intellectual strength, as well as for his dedication to the search for truth,” the Apostolic Nuncio further said.

Having a diplomatic mission is both a statement and a commitment “to deepen and strengthen bilateral relations, and there is no better way to do so than to be physically present,” Archbishop Crotty went on to say.

“Indeed, in the nine months since my arrival here in Burkina Faso, the greatest joy for me in being Pope Francis' Representative is to make him present wherever I go, a presence made possible by Pope Benedict XVI who established this diplomatic mission of the Holy See to Burkina Faso and Niger here in Ouagadougou,” the native of Ireland continued.

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“I hope that these links between us will bear fruit in favour of peace and reconciliation for our world,” the Nuncio said.

On his part, the Mayor of Ouagadougou, Armand Pierre Béouindé described Pope emeritus Benedict XVI as “a man who has always worked for reconciliation between peoples, for interreligious dialogue and for faith.”

“The renewal of the identity of this street will further implant in the collective memory of our population, the name of an eminent personality that is Pope Benedict XVI,” the Mayor added.

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Mr. Béouindé further describe Pope emeritus Benedict XVI as one “who not only allowed the establishment of a strong diplomatic relationship between Burkina Faso and the Holy See but also, it is thanks to him that the Apostolic Nunciature was built in 2007.”

The Mayor revealed that his administration heeded to the request of the Holy Father’s representative in the country “to name the street in front of the main gate of the Nunciature, which also houses the rectorate of the Catholic university, to be Pope Benedict XVI Street.”