In addition to his considerations, I would offer three further reflections:
- The Pope really does believe in the human and spiritual potential of Africa and of the African peoples. He is one of the very few world leaders who does.
- The Pope understands better than perhaps anyone else on the face of the planet how the spiritual crisis of the West is involved in and continues to contribute to Africa's woes.
- The Pope recognizes that what Africa needs is, in a word, the Gospel. The Gospel challenges, transforms and perfects the cultures of the peoples that receive it. If Africa is to meet the social, political and economic challenges posed by an imbalanced involvement in and disordered (or at least misguided) desire for the worst elements of Western culture - the slop of a civilization that has sold its soul - then it needs the Gospel - the very thing the West is in danger of losing entirely.