ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has begun a pilgrimage to three African nations.
The Alitalia jetliner with the pope and his entourage aboard departed at about 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) Wednesday from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, bound for the first stop in Kenya.
Francis is also scheduled to visit Uganda and Central African Republic before he is due back in Rome on Nov. 30.
Francis has described himself as a messenger of peace to a continent scarred by conflicts and extremist attacks, including against a growing Christian flock there.
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