Pope Francis’ instruction to Church leaders in Mozambique to avoid reserving expensive lodging facilities for him has been heeded, local media have reported.
STv, a local TV channel in Mozambique, has reported that Church leaders in the country have followed the pontiff’s request to have him accommodated in a lower-level hotel and not at a five-star facility initially reserved for him.
The Holy Father’s entourage, which is composed of 50 members, will be lodged at the Budget Africa hotel located in the heart of Maputo. The facility has already been subjected to security restrictions.
On Sunday, August 25, Church leaders in Mozambique conducted a simulation exercise at Zimpeto Stadium, the venue of the Public Papal Mass, Sr. Anselmina who is part of the organizing committee told ACI Africa Thursday.
“The simulation exercise was coordinated by Bishop Antonio Juliasse in his capacity as the head of Holy Father’s visit in Mozambique,” Sr. Anselmina said, adding that two ministers from the government were present.
“All coordinators of different committees around the visit of the Pope met Wednesday to evaluate the arrangements ahead of the arrival of the Holy Father to our country,” Sr. Anselmina continued.
“A press conference on the Pope’s visit has been scheduled for Monday, September 2,” Sr. Anselmina who is part of the communications committee told ACI Africa, revealing that over 100 journalists have been accredited to cover the Pope’s visit.
The Pontiff’s instruction to Church leaders in Mozambique to book for a lower-level hotel seems consistent with his modest lifestyle since being elected Pope in 2013.
He went against the tradition set by his predecessors when he decided to reside in the Casa Santa Marta, a Vatican residence that houses visiting clergy and non-clergy members.
While in Mozambique, the Pontiff will meet with authorities, leaders of civil society, and the diplomatic corps at the Palacio da Ponta Vermelha.
He will also hold an interreligious meeting with young people at the Maxaquene Pavilion, before meeting with bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and catechists at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
He will then head to Madagascar (September 6-8) and conclude his weeklong pastoral visit to Africa with Mauritius where he will be for a day (September 9).