Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cardinal Walker: Fragmentation against Christian unity

Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity has expressed concern over the 'increasingly deepening fragmentation among Christians'.

Though not exclusively an African problem, he pointed out that it is historically entrenched in the continent through the legacy of the "divided Christianity that Africa received".

He said that rapid growth of charismatic and Pentecostal churches has presented a new challenge to any meaningful dialogue due to what he termed as ‘their aggressive behaviour and low theological standards’.

“It is time the church in general and Africa in particular asked itself, not what is wrong with them, but what is wrong or what is deficient with our own pastoral work,” he said.

Cardinal Walter challenged the Synod Fathers to engage in positive dialogue with other faiths in pursuit for unity, singling out strong Small Christian Communities as a basis for true and meaningful ecumenical dialogue.

Human Trafficking

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Berhaneyesus Demerew SOURAPHIEL called on the Synod on Africa to address the root causes of human trafficking, the displaced persons and the abused domestic workers, refugees and migrants and to come up with "concrete positions and proposals to show to the world that African lives are sacred and not cheap" as the media may try to wrongly show.

He urged on the Holy See to appoint a permanent representative to the African Union (AU) whose headquarters are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as an observer in the African forum.

He suggested for a similar appointment from the Symposium for Episcopal Conferences in Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), to further articulate the Catholic voice in the AU.

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