POPE PAUL told President !di Amin of Uganda last week that he was pleased at his recent promise that Catholic missionaries would always be welcomed in his country.
In a one-hour private audience at Castelgandolfo with the unpredictable African leader. Pope Paul also said that the efforts of missionaries in Uganda would make it possible to "hand over the direction of Church activities completely to the sons of Uganda."
The promise the Pope referred to was contained in an unpublished message he received from President Amin about foreign missionaries. In 1972 he expelled 58, claiming that as foreigners they posed a threat to the country. The Pope said: "Just a few days ago we were pleased to receive Your Excellency's reply with regard to some recent events concerning Catholic missionaries in Uganda." That message, the Pope continued, had given assurance "that foreign religious personnel would always be welcomed" in Uganda, "as well us their contribution toward the development — both spiritual and material — of the local communities."
The Pope recalled that he had recently written to President Amin to tell him that Catholics in Uganda and the foreign missionaries who assisted them "are ever ready to collaborate, within the limits of their possibilities, with other Christian and non-Christian bodies for the welfare of all the people of your nation."
Concluding his talk. the Pope said: "We look forward to the day when, thanks also to the un tiring efforts of the missionaries, it will be possible to hand over the direction of Church activities completely to the sons of Uganda, in whom we are pleased to reiterate our full C onfidence."
The President, accompanied by his 19-year-old wife and Miss Bernadette Olowo, Uganda's Ambassador to the Vatican, arrived 18 minutes late for the audience because of heavy traffic. Castelgandoifo, where the Pope has his summer residence, is 15 miles from Rome.
Miss Bernadette °lawn is the first woman Ambassador to the Holy See. In his talk the Pope recalled his visit to Uganda in 1969, and expressed gratitude for the large numbers of Holy Year pilgrims from Uganda. President Amin was on a three-day private visit to Italy.