Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
A cardinal in Burkina Faso said that the naming of a street after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI brought “hope” to the country, Africa, and the world.
Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo spoke at a June 13, 2021, ceremony unveiling the newly named Rue Pape Benoît XVI (Pope Benedict XVI Street) in the capital, Ouagadougou.
The thoroughfare was previously called street 54.160, reported ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner. It is the location of the country’s apostolic nunciature.
At the ceremony, 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.”
Pope Benedict XVI died Dec. 31, 2022, at age 95. He served as pope from 2005 until his retirement in 2013.
“Let us make this street a place where peace awakens faith,” the archbishop of Ouagadougou said at the ceremony.
Archbishop Michael Crotty, the apostolic nuncio in Burkina Faso and Niger, said at the ceremony that the naming of the street was “a sign of gratitude to the pope, … 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.”
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa with a population of 20 million people, approximately 19% of whom are baptized Catholics.
The Irish-born nuncio thanked the Ouagadougou city council for the honor bestowed on the pope emeritus, adding that the street was 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,” he said.