The Holy See Search



4-25 OTTOBRE 2009

La Chiesa in Africa a servizio della riconciliazione, della giustizia e della pace.
"Voi siete il sale della terra ... Voi siete la luce del mondo" (Mt 5, 13.14)

Questo Bollettino è soltanto uno strumento di lavoro ad uso giornalistico.
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Edizione plurilingue

12 - 08.10.2009





Alle ore 16.30 di oggi giovedì 8 ottobre 2009, con la Preghiera per la II Assemblea Speciale per l’Africa del Sinodo dei Vescovi, è iniziata la Settima Congregazione Generale, per la continuazione degli interventi dei Padri Sinodali in Aula sul tema sinodale La Chiesa in Africa a servizio della riconciliazione, della giustizia e della pace. “Voi siete il sale della terra ... Voi siete la luce del mondo” (Mt 5, 13.14).

Presidente Delegato di turno S.Em. Card. Francis ARINZE, Prefetto emerito della Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti (CITTÀ DEL VATICANO).

A questa Congregazione Generale che si è conclusa alle ore 17.30 con la preghiera Pro Felici Sinody Exitu erano presenti 212 Padri.

La Congregazione Generale è stata sospesa per permettere ai Padri sinodali di partecipare al concerto "I giovani contro la guerra - 1939-2009" presso l'Auditorium della Conciliazione di Roma, alla presenza del Santo Padre Benedetto XVI.

L'evento, in occasione del 70° anniversario dallo scoppio della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, è \pard softlinepromosso dal Pontificio Consiglio per la Promozione dell'Unità dei Cristiani e dalla Commissione per i Rapporti Religiosi con l'Ebraismo, dall'Ambasciata tedesca presso la Santa Sede e dal KulturForum di Mainau. Patrocina il Comitato Ebraico Internazionale per le Consultazioni Interreligiose. Finanziano enti italiani e tedeschi. L'orchestra composta da giovani musicisti provenienti da 10 nazioni, proporrà brani musicali di Gustav Mahler e di Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, entrambi compositori ebrei di nascita, poi battezzati. Mahler e Mendelssohn, rispettivamente cattolico e protestante, sperimentarono l'antisemitismo.

[00023-01.05] [00000] [Testo originale: italiano]


Quindi, sono intervenuti i seguenti Padri:

- S. Em. R. Card. André VINGT-TROIS, Arcivescovo di Paris, Presidente della Conferenza Episcopale (FRANCIA)
- S. Em. R. Card. Anthony Olubunmi OKOGIE, Arcivescovo di Lagos (NIGERIA)
- S. E. R. Mons. Orlando B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I., Arcivescovo di Cotabato, Segretario Generale della "Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences" (F.A.B.C.) (FILIPPINE)
- S. E. R. Mons. Matthew Kwasi GYAMFI, Vescovo di Sunyani (GHANA)
- S. E. R. Mons. Francisco CHIMOIO, O.F.M. Cap., Arcivescovo di Maputo (MOZAMBICO)
- S. E. R. Mons. Edward HIIBORO KUSSALA, Vescovo di Tombura-Yambio (SUDAN)
- S. E. R. Mons. John Anthony RAWSTHORNE, Vescovo di Hallam, Presidente della "Catholic Agency for Overseas Development" (C.A.F.O.D.), della Conferenza Episcopale di Inghilterra e Galles (GRAN BRETAGNA)
- S. E. R. Mons. Jude Thaddaeus RUWA'ICHI, O.F.M. Cap., Vescovo di Dodoma, Presidente della Conferenza Episcopale (TANZANIA)
- S. E. R. Mons. Francesco COCCOPALMERIO, Arcivescovo titolare di Celiana, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio per i Testi Legislativi (CITTÀ DEL VATICANO)
- S. E. R. Mons. Edward Gabriel RISI, O.M.I., Vescovo di Keimoes-Upington (SUDAFRICA)

Diamo qui di seguito i riassunti degli interventi:

- S. Em. R. Card. André VINGT-TROIS, Arcivescovo di Paris, Presidente della Conferenza Episcopale (FRANCIA)

Les relations entre nos Églises s'inscrivent dans une histoire plus que séculaire. Mais nos relations ont beaucoup évolué depuis la première évangélisation. Nos Églises européennes ont pu se réjouir de voir les Églises africaines subsahariennes atteindre leur maturité avec leur hiérarchie propre, leur clergé, leurs communautés religieuses, leurs laïcs si fortement impliqués dans la vie des paroisses et dans l'annonce de l'Évangile sur la terre d'Afrique.
Depuis quelques années, nos relations se développent dans un véritable échange de dons. Sans doute beaucoup de diocèses ou de paroisses de France sont engagés dans une aide concrète à diverses Églises d'Afrique. Mais aujourd'hui beaucoup de nos diocèses reçoivent une aide importante des diocèses africains.
Cette aide se présente principalement sous deux formes. La première est le nombre des catholiques africains émigrés en France. D'autre part, les prêtres africains tiennent une place de plus en plus importante dans le dispositif pastoral français. En plus des prêtres étudiants (plus de 250 prêtres) qui sont nombreux dans les villes universitaires, nous comptons de plus en plus de prêtres africains au titre de "Fidei Donum ". Ils sont actuellement plus de 600, alors que les prêtres français " Fidei Donum " en service en Afrique ne sont pas plus de 70.
L'appel à des prêtres africains et leur accueil supposent une préparation et une attention très particulières. Je voudrais souligner particulièrement un point très important. Il faut que les relations entre les deux évêques (l'évêque d'Afrique et l'évêque de France) soient les plus claires possibles. Chaque fois que l'on néglige ces conditions préalables, c'est au détriment de la mission et au détriment du prêtre.
Les difficultés que nous rencontrons ne doivent pas nous masquer la richesse des relations entre nos Églises et nous empêcher de rendre grâce pour l'échange des dons que nous vivons.

[00111-03.05] [IN081] [Texte original: français]

- S. Em. R. Card. Anthony Olubunmi OKOGIE, Arcivescovo di Lagos (NIGERIA)

I want us to look at African families as the source of various divine blessings towards the growth and the well being of African families in general.
Africa, once referred to as the ‘dark continent’, is today seen in a different light by her colonizers even though in most countries, Africa still experiences poverty; the poor becoming poorer and the rich, richer. Family life is disintegrating through divorce, unfaithfulness and Western ideologies that are incompatible to our culture. Natural resources needed for the development of our society are being plundered by our neo-colonialists. In fact, it seems that only the dishonest ones get ahead in the society. Our morale presently is low and many people, some church leaders inclusive, are throwing caution to the wind saying; 'what's the use of trying to be good?' The words of the prophet Malachi, "all is not lost, only trust in God" to those found in our position today is most appropriate. We seem to have forgotten that like children, we are dearer to God than children to their parents. We seem to have forgotten those words of the Lord Jesus: "without me you can do nothing". Let us, therefore, arm ourselves with prayer and be patient for, in God, true justice will prevail, knowing that His love for us surpasses anything we can imagine.
Africans are generally known to be very religious people. The idea of God or the deity is innate in us. It is therefore not surprising that two of the world's most diffused religions, Christianity and Islam, have found a warm welcome in the continent. It is however saddening to note that often these religions have been misused and made a source of deadly conflicts in Africa. This notwithstanding, most parents can hardly fulfill their responsibilities to their families without an organized, conscious, consistent and serious fami1y prayer life or put simply, without referring to God in times of difficulties, joy and sorrow. They firmly know and believe that only God can change, bless and empower the family.
While I thank you for your various suggestions regarding the need for prayer, I want to add my voice to emphasize even more strongly the importance and centrality of prayers in this our seemingly bleak situation. No matter how bad things may seem to be, no matter what solutions we may seem to proffer, if these are not blessed by God, I wonder how durable our success if any, will be? Let us therefore not forget to encourage our faithful about this great gift God has given us knowing full well that only with Him shall we succeed. He is the vine and we are the branches. With Him, therefore, we can succeed.

[00136-02.02] [IN097] [Original text: English]

- S. E. R. Mons. Orlando B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I., Arcivescovo di Cotabato, Segretario Generale della "Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences" (F.A.B.C.) (FILIPPINE)

As in Asia, so in Africa many issues of reconciliation, justice and peace have global dimensions. Thus the arms trade, the trafficking of women and children, the destruction of the environment, corruption, the support of dictatorial regimes, population control, migration, poverty and underdevelopment, economic globalization, global warming and climate change. This is especially so since decisions impacting the peoples of the South are made in the decisions of power in the North.
Problems with global characteristics require a response with a global dimension. We do have such a response with a very distinctive faith dimension.
We have a faith-vision of the human person, of all humanity, and of the whole of creation. Man has a divine origin and an eternal destiny. The whole of humanity is on a pilgrimage to the Reign of God. Creation groans as it awaits the parousia. We believe that Jesus our Lord and Savior is the ultimate Reconciler, our Justice and our Peace. We believe in the Church as Family of God, as Communion, with a vocation to proclaim Jesus as the Lord and Savior, and to announce that the Reign of God has entered into our history in the person of Jesus. We are also deeply aware that the Church has a structure of Episcopal conferences in every continent of the world. It is this global vision and this global structure that we·need to bring to bear upon the urgent issues facing us.
Therefore, I respectfully propose that some Vatican agency convoke a gathering of some bishops from North and South in 2010. Assisted by experts and church aid agencies, they would plan and put flesh into a project of communion and solidarity among Bishops, South-South and North-South, in order to respond from the viewpoint of religious faith and morality to urgent issues of reconciliation, justice and peace. The driving force as well as the fruit of such a communio-in-actione would be caritas in veritate.
Our struggle is against sinfulness. Our efforts can bear lasting fruit, only if prayer part and parcel of our striving. May Mary, Comfort of the Afflicted and Queen of Peace, intercede for us.

[00101-02.03] [IN071] [Original text: English]

- S. E. R. Mons. Matthew Kwasi GYAMFI, Vescovo di Sunyani (GHANA)

In some parts of Africa because of the culture and tradition of the-people before the Church was introduced, many African women find themselves in polygamous marriages through no fault of theirs. Because of this, many of the women attending the Church are denied the Sacraments of Initiation, Reconciliation and Marriage. Attempts by these affected women to walk away from such polygamous marriages in which most times they are the first wives with children, result- in untold economic hardships and social tension. In cases where women have walked away without the consent of the husbands and the extended families the Church has been cited for injustice, insecurity, breaking up families, fomenting disunity and destroying social cohesion. In certain cases where the husbands were aggrieved by the action of the women walking away from the marriage to receive the sacraments of Initiation, the women and their children have been denied support and compensation resulting in serious economic hardships and insecurity. Situations like these have discouraged many women with similar experiences from divorcing their polygamous husbands to receive the sacraments of initiation. The result is that in some parts of Africa many women attend Church regularly and actively participate in all Church activities, but are denied the Sacraments of Initiation, Reconciliation and Marriage, not counting the many denied fitting Christian burial for not being baptized.
The Church needs to address this painful and unpleasant situation in Africa by giving some special privileges to women, who have been the first wives with children and through no fault of their own have become victims of polygamous marriages, to receive the Sacraments of Initiation and others. The reception of these trying women to the Sacraments will enable them to share in the peace and reconciliation offered by the compassion and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ who came to call sinners and not the self righteous.

[00102-02.03] [IN072] [Original text: English]

- S. E. R. Mons. Francisco CHIMOIO, O.F.M. Cap., Arcivescovo di Maputo (MOZAMBICO)

Na sua missão profética a Igreja deve insistir na pratica e exortação para actos que consolidam e dignificam a Paz na Africa, apelando aos governantes políticos e ao povo a privilegiar acções concretas.
Das forças de segurança onde os chefes devem ter a capacidade de actuar acima dos partidos políticos, sobretudo nos eventos eleitorais, manifestações públicas etc.
Das Instituições judiciárias que muitas vezes detêm indiscriminadamente os presumíveis organizadores de manifestações da oposição, deixando impunes e em absoluta liberdade os autores de emboscadas feitas aos organizadores de tais manifestações pacíficas.
Dos aparelhos dos Estados, viabilizando a ascensão na carreira publica dos funcionários do Estado conforme as suas simpatias políticas com partido no Governo.
Combate efectivo contra todo o tipo de corrupção, descriminação e opressão, sobretudo no sector público.
O caminho da construção da Paz, dom de Deus, é o caminho da redenção, pela oferta amorosa, pacífica de um modo novo de viver.
A Paz trazida a nós por Cristo esta à disposição de todos os que põem em pratica a lei da justiça e do amor estabelecida por Deus para a harmonia da criação.
Urge que a Igreja apele a Africa a ter urna consciência purificada para trabalhar honestamente para o bem comum. Urge também que a Igreja seja a voz dos que não têm voz e nem vez denunciando corajosamente todos os planos que escravizam os homens. É necessário que nos esforcemos em criar a paz interior e exterior e mantê-la, pois é fruto da conquista e auto-disciplina.

[00103-06.03] [IN073] [Texto original: português]

- S. E. R. Mons. Edward HIIBORO KUSSALA, Vescovo di Tombura-Yambio (SUDAN)

There is obvious failure to build trust and address key issues between the North and South prior to the referendum which may result in violence after the referendum.
- Overall level of violence in the South (especially inter-tribal);
- LRA atrocities in WES Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, 240,000, IDPS, 31 refugees from RDC and CAR., Humanitarian crises, etc. Who is going to arrest Kony, it is a regional and international which needs similar resolution.
- International community left after CPA an attended to,
- Continued unity / disunity of SPLM leadership and building the fragile postwar South Sudan with ministers who have military background is indeed a dilemma.
- The proportion of service delivery by NGOs versus GOSS (e.g., NGOs are no longer providing a large majority of health services); This it self can provoke violence.
- Reform of MDTF and assistance strategies generally and its reluctance to help
- Lack of making unity attractive by the North, Islamic law is still in action in the North.
- Extent to which Darfur conflict is hampered by domestic and international politics.
- Arms buildup on both sides; Continued lack of oil transparency;
- Collection of grievances by South; North re-engaging with dissident groups in the South;
- Unclear or inadequate resolution of boundaries;
- Drop in oil prices on which south Sudan depends for its revenue. Natural resources never develop countries as history tells us.
The recent International Criminal Court indictment of President Omar Bashire, which has further legitimized hostility, and this due to some level of uncertainty over the implementation of CPA can escalate a return to open armed conflict, or unilateral declaration of independence prior to referendum.
Recommendation or suggestions:
a) The hope is that this Synod will address of our quest for salvation in Africa is our perception of the future, and seek to move creatively in the direction of a cultural rebirth, economic, political and spiritual revival, as a basis for the new society in our countries.
b) We need to have think tanks for Africa at different level, both at our regional and national.
c) We need lobbying and advocacy in order to prevent the worse scenarios in the Sudan. Good examples which were carried by AMECEA, SECAM, South African Episcopal Conference, European conference including the Holy See.
Finally, it is the courage of the 'complete story' about ourselves the honest view of our existence, our history and our reality in its high and low points, its sad and happy moments which will bring us justice and peace. We need both Zacheous of and the Good Samaritans of the Holy Bibles

[00106-02.03] [IN076] [Original text: English]

- S. E. R. Mons. John Anthony RAWSTHORNE, Vescovo di Hallam, Presidente della "Catholic Agency for Overseas Development" (C.A.F.O.D.), della Conferenza Episcopale di Inghilterra e Galles (GRAN BRETAGNA)

With the support of international Catholic agencies, the Church in Africa has been confronting HIV and AIDS since well before the first Synod on Africa. Today concern seems to be waning, even if the problem remains acute for many Africans. Catholic solidarity should continue supporting the long-term commitment of the Church in Africa to raise awareness, to accompany the infected and the affected, to form the youth, and to face this great challenge.

[00107-02.04] [IN077] [Original text: English]

- S. E. R. Mons. Jude Thaddaeus RUWA'ICHI, O.F.M. Cap., Vescovo di Dodoma, Presidente della Conferenza Episcopale (TANZANIA)

Church in Africa (whether envisaged as the family, Basic Christian Community, parish, or diocese), has a duty to respond to the challenges listed in the above section of the Instrumentum Laboris. In view of her prophetic mission, I request this Synod to rally up with the Church in Africa in order to respond to these challenges by:
- Sustaining and implementing deeper and ongoing catechesis. This will enable the received faith to become a personal experience and a profoundly lived reality capable of transforming, guiding and providing a sound anchorage for decisions and actions. It requires a sustained inculcation of Gospel values which are made to impact upon the life of the individual, the family, the Basic Christian Communities and society as a whole, enabling each to embrace Christ's gift and call to his disciples to be Salt of the earth and Light of the world.
- Investing in consistent formation of conscience. This will render individuals and communities to be clear and consistent on issues and thus demonstrate the courage and integrity to discern and make the right decisions, whenever they encounter situations which confronts them in their prophetic calling by demanding them to take a clear and unequivocal stand without fearing the price it may entail.
- Urging and aiding individual faithful to master the courage and integrity to earnestly pursue the call to personal and communal conversion, thus helping them to offer a convinced, coherent and credible Christian witness. Such needs to be imbued with the Word of God, the Sacraments (particularly Reconciliation and the Eucharist) and the Social Teachings of the Church, whose dissemination needs to be more assiduously undertaken so that they guide and mould the thinking, action and the scale of values espoused by the faithful.
- Encouraging, supporting and sustaining initiatives in favor of the empowerment, protection and enhancement of women, children and all those whose dignity is threatened in any form. Among the envisaged initiatives, it seems worthwhile to highlight the need for a greater resolve in the creation and support of committees for Justice, Peace and Care for the Created Order as privileged instruments of advocacy and formation.

[00108-02.03] [IN078] [Original text: English]

- S. E. R. Mons. Francesco COCCOPALMERIO, Arcivescovo titolare di Celiana, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio per i Testi Legislativi (CITTÀ DEL VATICANO)

Scelgo un argomento connesso direttamente con il servizio che svolgo nella Curia Romana e cioè parlo dell'attività legislativa delle Conferenze episcopali nel Continente africano.
Come ben sapete, il Codice di diritto canonico del 1983 ha scelto di essere tendenzialmente una legge quadro, nel senso che ha stabilito alcune regole di vita ecclesiale piuttosto generali e ha lasciato poi alle varie Chiese particolari le determinazioni concrete adattate ai vari luoghi e alle varie culture.
La scelta operata dal Codice è stata molto saggia: da una parte, infatti, le cose essenziali devono essere uguali per tutte le Chiese particolari, mentre, dall' altra, ciò che essenziale non è non deve essere imposto a tutti, così che siano valorizzate tutte le tradizioni e le culture.
La scelta del Codice ci presenta pertanto due postulati: quello dell'unità e quello della diversificazione.
Il postulato dell'unità. Siamo tutti ben consapevoli che il diritto canonico è l'espressione dell'unità della Chiesa come società. La chiesa non è una multinazionale, dove i dirigenti cercano soluzioni secondo gli interessi dei singoli momenti, ma è una comunità configurata come società da Cristo Gesù, che nei secoli ha coniato la propria esperienza di fede in principi dottrinali e in regole di condotta che esprimono la sua unità.
Il postulato della diversificazione. È chiaro che nuove situazioni richiedono nuove soluzioni. Nel nostro caso, le peculiarità delle Chiese che si trovano in Africa richiedono soluzioni normative adatte a tali situazioni. Non dobbiamo imporre alle Chiese in Africa ciò che non è essenziale Dobbiamo rispettare e valorizzare le loro culture giuridiche e le loro tradizioni normative.
Uno dei modi per attuare la valorizzazione di tali particolarità è quello della legislazione canonica, a cui le varie Chiese, o, meglio, le varie Conferenze Episcopali sono chiamate a lavorare.
A che punto siamo in tale lavoro?
Una recente statistica ci fa conoscere che su 34 Conferenze episcopali 20 devono ancora emanare i decreti attuativi secondo le indicazioni del Codice di diritto canonico.
Colgo l'occasione di questo Sinodo per prospettare alle Conferenze episcopali l'importanza del servizio della legislazione canonica.
Cari confratelli, Vescovi africani, attuate con impegno i due postulati della unità e della diversità: pienamente fedeli alla normativa universale, mettete però in risalto, anche con norme particolari da voi sapientemente emanate, le peculiarità delle vostre Chiese.
Porterete così un contributo qualificato alla comunione ecclesiale e specificamente un riconoscimento alle ricchezze tradizionali e culturali che fanno delle Chiese in Africa cellule di prorompente vitalità per il Corpo della Chiesa universale.

[00109-01.05] [IN079] [Testo originale: italiano]

- S. E. R. Mons. Edward Gabriel RISI, O.M.I., Vescovo di Keimoes-Upington (SUDAFRICA)

The proclamation of the Gospel and the quest to deepen its meaning and practice in Africa faces the same challenges as does culture. The Church is therefore in a privileged position because in its quest to promote the values of the Gospel, it shares a similar struggle with Africa's peoples in their pursuit to preserve and advance those cherished values of their cultural heritage. Creating opportunities for dialogue offers the Church opportunities to understand those who experience alienation in an increasingly secularized and globalized Africa, with its brutal memories of colonization and oppression. A commitment to open and honest dialogue is vital for forging the way forward so that the influence of the Gospel, like that of culture, is not lost in the emerging voices in Africa. In particular a re-commitment to SECAM can make it an important instrument for dialogue on our continent.

[00110-02.03] [IN080] [Original text: English]


Una "Seconda visita virtuale in Africa". È stato lo stesso Segretario Generale del Sinodo dei Vescovi, S.E. Mons. Nikola Eterović , chiudendo la Quinta Congregazione Generale a definire così l'incontro di sabato 10 ottobre, nell'Aula Paolo VI in Vaticano. Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI presiederà il Santo Rosario "Con l'Africa e per l'Africa". Saranno presenti all'incontro i Padri Sinodali e gli universitari degli Atenei romani, collegati via satellite con i giovani universitari di 9 capitali africane: Il Cairo (Egitto), Nairobi (Kenya), Khartoum (Sudan), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Johannesbourg (Sud Africa), Onitsha (Nigeria), Kinshasa (Repubblica democratica del Congo), Maputo (Mozambico), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). L'incontro è organizzato dalla Segreteria Generale del Sinodo dei Vescovi e dall'Ufficio Pastorale Universitaria del Vicariato di Roma, in occasione della II Assemblea Speciale per l'Africa del Sinodo dei Vescovi. La veglia avrà inizio alle ore 17. Alle ore 18 il Santo Padre farà il suo ingresso in Aula per guidare il Santo Rosario. L'animazione è a cura dell'Orchestra Nazionale dei Conservatori di Musica e dei Cori dei Conservatori e delle Università Italiane. Al termine della veglia, "Pellegrinaggio della Croce"

[00113-01.05] [RE000] [Testo originale: italiano]

Ritorna a:

- Indice Bollettino Synodus Episcoporum - II Assemblea Speciale per l'Africa - 2009
  [Plurilingue, Francese, Inglese, Italiano, Portoghese, Spagnolo]

- Indice Sala Stampa della Santa Sede
[Francese, Inglese, Italiano, Portoghese, Spagnolo, Tedesco]