[English; Afrikaans; français]
Article by Marc Aupiais
Pope: "Church in Africa, the leaven of reconciliation: "
"The vocation of the Church, a community of people reconciled with God and each other, is to the prophet and leaven of reconciliation between different ethnic, linguistic and even religious" groups throughout Africa. That was the message at the heart of Pope Benedict's homily during mass to open of the Second Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa, held in the St. Peter Basilicas. In front of 244 Synod Fathers who from Monday October 5 until October 25 will compare notes on "The ...
While the English language Version of Radio Vaticana, has yet to cover the issue in the same depth, or else the article is not accessible, their French language version stated:
"Dossier : le laïcat, enjeu indispensable du synode pour l'Afrique
Propos recueillis par Armance Bourgois"
(Radio Vaticana (Vatican based; Hierarchical; Catholic) 03 / 10 | October / 2009)
That is to say:
"File: the laity, vital issue of the Synod for Africa
Some 250 bishops are meeting for three weeks, starting from Sunday, October 4 at the Vatican. They will participate in the second synod of Bishops for Africa. The opening Mass presided over by the Pope, will start at 9:30 in St. Peter's Basilica. The first synod on Africa in 1994 had focused on defining the procedures of a church in search of maturity. This second meeting will repeat the point, answers to the many challenges of the present. The document preparatory work has been published by Benedict XVI in March to Cameroon.
Bartholomew Adoukounou is Secretary General of ECOWAS (Episcopal Conference of West African Francophone). He will be in Rome as an expert in hand with several proposals developed with members of ECOWAS. Among these proposals, to gain the attention necessary to bring to the training of lay church provided a "salt of the earth and leaven in the world" Interview by Armance Bourgois [French]"
According to the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] (Secular; Governmental; British / UK Based) 04 / 10 | October / 2009:
The pope considers evangelization in Africa, an urgent priority. The previous synod on Africa, unfortunately occurred around the eve of the Rwandan genocide, and the BBC claims it was an event with much talk, and little else. The BBC, seems to compare that previous event to the current one, noting that this synod has a specific focus on the problems of Africa.
The Associated Press wrongly suggests that Bishops are likely to bring up the Vatican's ban on the use of condoms. Local Bishops' Conferences such as that in Southern Africa have already dealt with this issue, with minimal dissidents known for disobedience to the Vatican having pushed for condoms.
The Catholic Church in Africa is familiar with the success of the Ugandan anti-AIDS program, which successfully reduced infection rates, in contrast to nations which focussed on condoms, such as South Africa, these being where HIV/AIDS has rapidly increased as condom distribution has increased.
Condoms, beyond being considered intrinsically evil in Catholic dogma, are also viewed negatively in African tradition.
Many of Africa's refugees are Catholics, even coming from war-torn regions. The Vatican has suggested teaching Catholics to encourage peace in their surroundings.