Sunday, 4 October 2009

Synod on Africa Opened!

(See What We See News And Archives; c.f. Radio Vaticana (Vatican Based; Structural; Catholic) 02 / 10 | October / 2009 [English] ; 03 / 10 | October / 2009 [ French] ; CTV /Vatican's YouTube Site 04 / 10 | October / 2009 ; BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] (Secular; Governmental; British / UK Based) 04 / 10 | October / 2009 ; 04 / 10 | October / 2009 [Audio and Text]; AP [Associated press] (American; Secular; independent) 04 / 10 | October / 2009 ; also on Yahoo (Secular; independent; American) 04 / 10 | October / 2009 ;  AFP [The French Press Agency] (Secular; independent; French): Article hosted by Yahoo (Secular; independent; American) 04 / 10 | October / 2009  )

[English; Afrikaans; français]

Article by Marc Aupiais

Lamenting what he seemed to see as western exports to Africa, of relativism, and materialism, as well as what he saw as the export of religious fundamentalism, Pope Benedict XVI, today called Africa a "Spiritual Lung" for the world, during the modern day and age. Africa is likely one of the fastest growing theaters in Catholic Evangelization, the continent's Catholic flock having statistically grown to about three times the size it held three decades ago, in just that time. About 17% (About One Hundred and Fifty Million) of Africa's people are statistically Catholic. L'Osservatore Romano, a paper based in the Vatican, but not vetted by it, slated Africa's political elite, via an editorial, claiming that the resources of the resource rich continent were being unjustly plundered.

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

Quelque 250 prélats se réunissent, pour trois semaines, à partir de dimanche 4 octobre au Vatican. Ils participeront à la II° assemblée des évêques pour l’Afrique. La messe d’ouverture présidée par le Pape débutera à 9h30 dans la basilique Saint Pierre. Un premier synode sur l'Afrique en 1994 s’était attaché à définir la marche à suivre d’une Eglise en quête de maturité. Cette seconde assemblée entend refaire le point, apporter des réponses aux nombreux défis du présent. Le document préparatoire des travaux a été rendu public par Benoît XVI en mars dernier au Cameroun.
Barthélemy Adoukounou est secrétaire général de la CEDEAO (conférence épiscopale de l’Afrique de l’Ouest francophone). Il sera à Rome en tant qu’expert avec en main plusieurs propositions élaborées avec les membres de la CEDEAO. Parmi ces proposition, il y a l’attention indispensable à porter à la formation des laïcs, condition d’une Eglise « sel de la terre et ferment du monde »

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.

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