Friday, October 23, 2009

Synod for Africa nears conclusion

With just a few hours to the conclusion of the II Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, the delegates have released a message to the PEOPLE OF GOD prior to the final document to be read and voted for tomorrow morning in the Synod hall.

In their detailed message covering areas that featured iduring the three-weeks Synod, the delegates have reiterated their call for true healing., justice, peace and reconciliation in Africa, calling it "no longer a ‘dark’ continent but a continent of hope'.

The statement was presented to the international press at the Vatican by Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja Nigeria, bishop Youssef Ibrahim Sarraf Caldean bishop of Egypt and bishop Francisco Joao Silota of Chimoio, Mozambique together with Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press office.

The messages contains 7 distinct parts.

Acknowledging that Africa forms part of the global Church, the message urges the global church to continue its solidarity with Africa, all as members of the Family of God.

The message challenges the African bishops to prioritize on issues of reconciliation, justice and peace and making them a pastoral agenda of each diocese.

Terming the priests as necessary and close collaborators of the bishops, the Synod Fathers have urged them in this year dedicated to them to renew their commitments and be true signs of reconciliation and peace by harmoniously living together regardless of their tribal differences.

To the public leaders, the Synod encourages them to participate in church work through promoting common good even while in those public offices.

The synod fathers have also described the Christian families, Catholic Women, Catholic Men, youth and Children as agents of evangelization.

On HIV/AIDS, the Bishops, through the 'Synodal' message, highlight how the church has been involved in this ministry with love and care and applauds many people who take care of the infected and the affected in our land.

Stating that it is now time for Africa to rise up, the message recognizes the efforts to liberate Africa of any kind of bondage or alienation. It however regrets sad crises in Somalia and the Great Lakes region.

The Synod fathers have also expressed great concern on the poor leadership in Africa that has led to destruction of our environment, arms dealing, human and drug trafficking, among other evils bedeviling Africa, calamities that have led to immense poverty, misery and diseases; influx of internally and externally displaced persons, brain-drain to the developed world, wars and bloodshed, et cetera.

In total, the Synod fathers' message has 43 points and ends with a prayer

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