The Holy See Search



4-25 OCTOBER 2009

The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.
"You are the salt of the earth ... You are the light of the world" (Mt 5:13,14)

This Bulletin is only a working instrument for the press.
Translations are not official.

English Edition


24 - 14.10.2009



Today, 14 October, Sessions II and III will continue; tomorrow afternoon, 15 October Session IV and the day after tomorrow, 16 October 2009 Sessions V and VI the discussion of the Working Groups Sessions II, III and IV - for draft and approval by every Working Group of the projects for the texts of the Propositions (the formulae of Synodal consensus regarding certain subjects deemed important by the Synodal Fathers, suggestions offered to the Holy Father as the fruit of the Synodal Work) - we hereby publish the written interventions, not presented in the Hall.

Tomorrow morning, 15 October 2009, during the Fifteenth General Congregation, the Reports of the Working Groups will be presented. A summary of these Reports (prepared by the Speakers of the Working Groups) will be published in the next Bulletin N. 25.


The following Synodal Fathers delivered their interventions in writing only:

- H. Em. Card. Gabriel ZUBEIR WAKO, Archbishop of Khartoum (SUDAN)
- H. Exc. Mons. Désiré TSARAHAZANA, Bishop of Toamasina (MADAGASCAR)
- H. Exc. Mons. Lewis ZEIGLER, Archbishop Coadjutor of Monrovia, President of the Episcopal Conference (LIBERIA)
- H. Exc. Mons. Arlindo GOMES FURTADO, Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (CAPE VERDE)
- H. Exc. Mons. Rudolf DENG MAJAK, Bishop of Wau, President of the Episcopal Conference (SUDAN)
- H. Exc. Mons. Giuseppe FRANZELLI, M.C.C.J., Bishop of Lira (UGANDA)
- H. Exc. Mons. Ayo-Maria ATOYEBI, O.P., Bishop of Ilorin (NIGERIA)
- H. Exc. Mons. António Francisco JACA, S.V.D., Bishop of Caxito (ANGOLA)
- H. Exc. Mons. Mathieu MADEGA, Bishop of Port-Gentil (GABON)
- H. Exc. Mons. Augustine SHAO, C.S.Sp., Bishop of Zanzibar (TANZANIA)
- H. Exc. Mons. Jean ZERBO, Archbishop of Bamako (MALI)
- H. Exc. Mons. Beatus KINYAIYA, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop of Mbulu (TANZANIA)

Below are the summaries of the interventions not presented in the Hall, but delivered in written form by the Synodal Fathers:

- H. Em. Card. Gabriel ZUBEIR WAKO, Archbishop of Khartoum (SUDAN)

The most important thing for us as Africans is not to allow ourselves to be convinced, dominated, and guided by what the most recent centuries of our history has done to us, from the slave trade right to the current ultra-liberal globalization. Nonetheless, behind this obvious truth is a radical requirement for every African today: a need to fight with all our strength against our insignificance, our inconsistency and our ontological debasement of ourselves, in order to build a new society devoid of the dictatorships and powerlessness.
All we need now as Africans is to have courage, to believe in ourselves, to accept ourselves and to seize the table of respect among the nations of the world. First of all, 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, it's sad and happy moments which guarantee stability.
The problem between South and North Sudan is as old as the Sudan itself. What has come to be known as the 'Southern Problem' is a web of complex issues ranging from inequalities in development between North and South to inequalities of opportunities accorded to the peoples of the two portions of the country by the central government. These are compounded by racial and religious differences between the two peoples.
Isolation of the Sudan is one of the most painful realities. International community, NGOs and other neighbouring countries have always taken side at the expenses of the weak. Africa needs respect in full and Africa must do the same to itself. The signing of the Peace Agreement in 2005 did mean the end of conflict in the Sudan. Much work was required for the implementation of the agreement. During this moment of high uncertainties with very delicate peace Sudan needs mutual intervention by people who love peace.
The unstable situation in the South - and to an increasing extent also in the North - no longer allows development assistance and implementation of the peace agreement to be effective. The international community can do little more than react and provide relief. The best anyone can do is try to manage the conflict and prevent it from becoming worse.
With this synod which stands to draw a genuine road map for the salvation of Africa.
The last synod was built on the philosophy of African community as family-of-God. This current second synod should be built on the African ontology of life! It will rehabilitate the African past in the present as ingredient for building the new Africa. Christ came to give us life, life in abundance (Jn 10, 17).

[00282-02.02] [IS001] [Original text: English]

- H. Exc. Mons. Désiré TSARAHAZANA, Bishop of Toamasina (MADAGASCAR)

What is happening on our African continent calls to our Christian consciences. Many Synod Fathers have pointed out the causes of poverty and murderous conflicts which are many; and I won’t insist on all this but I would like to address us as disciples of Christ called to being the salt of the earth and the light of the world: isn’t there a gap between faith and the lives we lead? This question is not only posed to our leaders, to our politicians but to all the members of the Church?
Each year during our plenary assemblies, the bishops of Madagascar begin the meeting by sharing what we live in each diocese. This led us to have a national synod on the life of priests in 2007. We realized that our priests need to be supported, helped so that their preaching turns into action. This word important word important in itself is insufficient unless there is witness of life as we say here, the word can inspire enthusiasm but above all it is the witness that attracts.
So among the different resolutions that were taken:
- Greater discernment in the choice and formation of future priests.
- The creation of a national center for the permanent formation of priests.
- Participation of families in the formation of priests.
- Without forgetting the insistence on the spiritual guidance of priests.
Also, the efforts to help the lay persons live their faith in politics must be one of the Church’s major concerns. The changing mentality, the conversion of the heart, this is a great challenge for Africa so that development is tangible, for justice and peace to reign.

[00283-02.02] [IS002] [Original text: French]

- H. Exc. Mons. Lewis ZEIGLER, Archbishop Coadjutor of Monrovia, President of the Episcopal Conference (LIBERIA)

One of the areas in which we can serve is that of the youth ministry. In our post civil war setting in Liberia, the youth are vulnerable. They are in need of formation. They are in need of moral direction and guidance.
In the area of Education the Church in Liberia has for most part, offered a purely academic education. But during the civil war, she had to move to another level in order to serve the needs of youth, especially those who do not have the means to go beyond elementary education. The Church introduced Youth Development programs in the rural areas in which they are taught agriculture, carpentry, masonry and auto mechanic. The programs are all planned to run for a period of two years. They are simple training programs, but done in professional manner. Twenty students are taken at a time in each area.
These programs came into being during the war because the young people need to be helped. A priest thought of a way to help them. These programs were then put together and are working very well and the youth are showing interest..
For those who are successful and good, placements were found for them with the Ngos or companies. The Diocese also make use of some of them. The program is continuing, and has helped a lot of youth to find employment and support for themselves. It has also help to distract them from other activities that would have landed them into trouble, especially if they had nothing to do.
During this period they undergo other form of formations. They learn to read and write (for those who had not gone to school), have daily prayers together and some catechetical formation, and receive talks on HIV/AIDS.

[00284-02.02] [IS003] [Original text: English]

- H. Exc. Mons. Arlindo GOMES FURTADO, Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (CAPE VERDE)

When democracy works and the structures of a State of right gain ground, the political parties watch and control one another, especially in the use of common goods and in the implementation of social and development projects. This way, many social problems would be easily solved and population will rapidly reach a better quality of life. In this aspect, Cape Verde has made great progresses in the field of education, heath infrastructures and of hope of life. But challenges however continues to be numerous: the instability of family structure, caused by emigration, divorce and generalized fear for the familiar engagement, consisting of wedding, without having made an experience before; lack of the civic education and civic sense; the situation of children at risk and juvenile crime; unemployment that reaches a very elevated index, especially among young people; the invasion of sects with false promises and the predominance in social communication, often aggressive against Catholic Church; danger of Islamic forces invasion, due to the big immigration of the brothers of the near continent and the perspective of a big investment of Islam in the only Catholic country of the region. Approximately one third of the inhabitants of the country in one way or the other have is involved in the instruction system, because of the great investment in education for all and on the attitude to promotion and to competition. Now all this is claimed by the Church another level of responsibilities, of pastoral and of formation in their operators.. And in all these sphere of the society that we Christians are called to be salt of the earth and light of the world, withe the necessary discretion, with the visibility of whom is available to serve, with the lightness in gratitude, but with the necessary efficacy because Gospel, faith and hope, hospitality, honestly and respect for the rights of all and of each could keep pace.

[00285-02.03] [IS004] [Original text: Portuguese]

- H. Exc. Mons. Rudolf DENG MAJAK, Bishop of Wau, President of the Episcopal Conference (SUDAN)

Fulfilling our God-given assignments, we the Sudanese Catholic Bishops have dedicate our pastoral ministries throughout the continues turmoil of our nation to the search for concrete reconciliation and peace in the Sudan. We have engaged in direct talks with the Sudanese leaders, by writing, approaching or requesting the direct intervention of the international community, the sister countries, our brothers in Faith in the AMECEA Countries, SECAM and the South African Bishops to whom we remain so grateful, persistently asking to show solidarity and cooperation with peace initiatives in the Sudan.
In the structure of our Bishops' Conference we have reinforced the Justice and Peace Commission that has sub-offices in all the nine dioceses of the Sudan. This commission is very active in taking bottom up conflict resolutions, making reconciliation among the different ethnic groups of the Sudan possible. Much interest has been taken in inter-religious dialogue which of course has very little success.
In our dioceses, and through our pastoral ministries to the war-affected and depressed Sudanese, the bishops also engage in dealing with healing and trauma recovery through spiritual and sacramental actions. More particularly, in the major part of the Sudan, the Churches have engaged in the socio-economic developments activities. The basic things which people need, such as food, health, schools and social development, have - throughout the long period of conflicts in the Sudan - been delivered by the Church.
There are seeds of potential violence at the moment in the Sudan.
Collectively, these disputes and uncertainties provide a volatile environment in which North-South violence could occur What us urgently required now is try to manage the conflict and prevent it from becoming worse.
To prevent and manage future conflicts by preparing for conflict-management and resolution activities between the different tribes and politicians. This requires a quick reaction to warnings of violence in the South, a focus on the security of the population, and control of small arms rather than forced disarmaments. A regional approach to deal with the threat of the Lord's Resistance Army is urgently required.

[00286-02.02] [IS005] [Original text: English]

- H. Exc. Mons. Giuseppe FRANZELLI, M.C.C.J., Bishop of Lira (UGANDA)

The Good News of Christ, our reconciliation, justice and peace, who has touched and changed our personal life and the life of our Christian communities, has not been given to us for our own exclusive use and consumption. It is a Word meant to run its full course, and to communicate the same life - in fullness - to the whole world. The Church exists to share this gift. Evangelization is our mission.
The past 15 years in Africa have seen both successes and failures in this field. The dream of a continental radio did not materialize. On the other hand, we now have 163 diocesan radios spreading the good news throughout Africa. In some few places, diocesan televisions are trying to find their way. To quote but a few examples concerning the radio, we have heard witnesses about the positive impact of diocesan radios towards the formation of conscience and awareness in countries where peace prevails, like Zambia and Madagascar.
During the long years of war in northern Uganda, Radio-Wa, a small diocesan radio, was instrumental for the return home of hundreds of abducted child soldiers and LRA rebels.
In the delicate and difficult post war situation in Southern Sudan, the commitment of the Comboni Missionary Institutes, in collaboration with the Bishops of all the dioceses of Southern Sudan and with the help of other international Catholic organizations, has given birth to the Sudan Catholic Radio Network (SCRN). Starting with Radio Bakhita in Juba, this network of Catholic radio stations, once completed, will link up the eight dioceses of the region, overcoming ethnic fragmentation and supporting the peace and reconciliation process in the Sudan.
Indeed, because the media and the new technologies of information and communication are the new aeropaghi (Instrumentum laboris 144), our local churches must make of communication a pastoral priority. But this implies that we must be ready to invest and pay the cost for it. Means of social communications are expensive.
Sometimes, Media may indeed prove too much for the finances of one individual diocese.
In such cases, the synergy and cooperation of various dioceses and missionary congregations, with the help of sisters Churches and international organizations can definitively achieve what would otherwise be impossible.

[00287-02.03] [IS006] [Original text: English]

- H. Exc. Mons. Ayo-Maria ATOYEBI, O.P., Bishop of Ilorin (NIGERIA)

If the Church of God in Africa wants to deepen her service in reconciliation, justice and peace, she must pray like Jesus so that the Holy Spirit with a new outpouring of his power may renew us and make us agents of a new world order in the spiritual sphere, social- political sphere, economic sphere, medical sphere and bring about African revolution in the field of science.
Without the help of the power from on high, who alone can make us contribute spiritually, socially, morally and scientifically to the advancement of humanity, we may not really be effective salt of the earth and the light that carries splendour with it. Consequently, we may not be reckoned with in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is high time we Africans woke up to our own renaissance. We must pray and pray to do this.
The Scriptures tell us how Jesus prayed in many places.
To take ourselves out of the woods and be less dependent on others creativity, we need to cry to God in prayer. Things may not turn around for better without conscious, consistent, constant and committed private prayer. The necessity of persevering prayer, asceticism, preaching, teaching and actions cannot be overemphasised in the pursuit of reconciliation, justice and peace.No one can touch the hearts of others if the person has not first touched the heart of the God of reconciliation, justice and peace.
Our people do not expect us to be bank managers or politicians in order to turn things around for the better but they expect us to be formators of their consciences, spiritual men and women, who will motivate them to fulfil their civic responsibilities as salt of the earth and light of the world.

[00288-02.02] [IS007] [Original text: English]

- H. Exc. Mons. António Francisco JACA, S.V.D., Bishop of Caxito (ANGOLA)

Civil war and fratricide which have devastated Angola for the past thirty years, apart from the deaths, have left deep traumas in our people: thousand of families destroyed and separated; thousands of widows and orphans, thousands of ex-military, without proper assistance and destined, some, to abandonment, and a part of our people who continue to live on the threshold of poverty, etc. If on one hand there is significant investment for the reconstruction of the infrastructures destroyed by war - and this is praiseworthy - on the other hand, little or nothing has been done to rebuild the human tissue seriously wounded by the long years of civil war. The consequences can already be felt, in particular with the alarming increase of criminality among young persons and adolescents.
The concerns of the Angolan society are well-known today. Desperation is growing in the poor families, deprived of what they need to live, and many parents no longer know how to give their children an education. Our churches and sanctuaries thus become, often, places to seek refuge, to ask for help, to cry over their suffering and look for a comforting word. A comforting word that families don’t often find because - and I say this with great sadness - many of our priests, busy with other things, are not available to take care of them and do not give them the proper pastoral attention, especially with the sacrament of reconciliation and in the ministry of listening.
The exodus of populations from the villages towards cities has caused serious changes in the modus vivendi of the populations. Again, the family has been struck, in particular regarding the education of children. As an example: children, especially in the large cities, stay home alone, because their parents are obliged to leave the house at dawn for work, they let them stay and sleep and when returning home late at night, find they are still asleep. Who takes care of these children during the day? Abandoned entirely to fate, their companions are other children, the streets, television, etc. Thus we have children taking care of other children, street smart, at the mercy of everything and anybody.
We also see the tacit invasion of television in family life. We cannot deny the negative influence on children and youth of certain programs broadcast by the national and international channels: soap operas, violent movies, video clips, music with improper language (widely broadcast by the radios), which parade a lifestyle that is foreign to our reality, which encourages violence and other anti-social behavior. It is also opportune to point out that certain contents are spread through the Internet and mobile phones, with text and video messages, modern means of communication that the new generations use. In this last area, adolescents and the young are the protagonists in the reciprocal transmission of improper messages.
In many peripheral areas, especially in the large cities, there are improvised movie “rooms” where children and adolescents naively “devour” violent movies not suitable for minors.

[00289-02.02] [IS008] [Original text: Portuguese]

- H. Exc. Mons. Mathieu MADEGA, Bishop of Port-Gentil (GABON)

We speak about the Family “of” God as a genre as well as a species. To say Family of God is to specify the family that is God’s, that is “de Deo”, “ex Deo”, even “cum, in, per, propter, secundum Deum”: in other words, God as the origin, Father and end. The Instrumentum laboris (88) declares that divine paternity is founded on the image of the Church-Family of God. Paternity-Maternity of God, childhood and brotherhood of men. “Divinized”, therefore we are “gods”, that is divine blood brothers in a “sacramental” way, therefore we have a “divine” brotherhood, which from now on should go beyond all other brotherhoods, because it is sealed in and with the blood pact by the Lamb of God. To be Church-Family of God then means to bear within oneself everywhere, now and forever divine identity. Ad intra reconciliation, among the children of God, becomes synonymous with divine love, a “quasi-perecoresi” within the same Family. And once reconciliation has come and been maintained ad intra, this is naturally extended ad extra to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”. Seeing how any consanguinity limited to the human will always be inferior to divine consanguinity, one well understands the reason for the hoped-for “synodal revolution” which, in line with Colossians 3:11, we could formulate as : In the Family of God there is no woman or man, no native or immigrant, no rich or poor, no exploiter or exploited, no maker or seller of weapons, no buyer or user of weapons against man, because he is the true son of God and true brother or sister!”

[00290-02.02] [IS009] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Exc. Mons. Augustine SHAO, C.S.Sp., Bishop of Zanzibar (TANZANIA)

I wish to reiterate that the theme of the Synod touches my area of work which is 99% Muslim. My challenge is on how to bring reconciliation in a situation where one claims to have the whole truth and whereby the entire way of life be it culture, economy and politics are very much directed and controlled by one religion? The major problem we face here is inequality on the distribution of the government revenue, whereby one religion is fully financed and supported, while others remain tolerated group or otherwise convert!
Reconciliation-Justice and Peace, can only be a reality in Africa when we the religious leaders change our mind set about our own cultures, traditions and taboos used and practiced by African traditional religions. The language and the names given to these groups do not at all encourage dialogue and openness. The names like pagans and animist do not allow one to tell the truth about his/her faith. As a result you have Sunday Christians and African traditional religion practice the other six days of the week. The Church in Africa should in every way struggle to harmonize and bring at peace the consciences of the African faithful who seek to be true disciples of Christ, but find themselves on the cross roads. I suggest therefore, that this second synod assembly to take seriously the issue of dialogue and inculturation. Let it be clearly noted, that dialogue calls for positive thinking about people. People should first and foremost be regarded as human beings despite their religious belief, and that accepting the other needs a kind of self-denial.
The history of Tanzania reveals religious tolerance, but of recent this so treasured value is being undermined by religious fundamentalism. While Zanzibar islands remains 99% Muslim with Islamic courts (Kathi Courts) this is not the case with Tanzania mainland. While Tanzania struggles to remain a secular state, but with freedom of religion, it is now being pressurized to establish Islamic courts and join the membership of OIC on the expenses of tax payers. The Islam strategy to prove that they are the majority in the country, is through the proliferation of construction of mosques on the highways, control of business and politics. In Tanzania 80% to 90% of long distance transportation is owned by Muslims and this leads to a demand that Friday should be a non working day.

[00291-02.02] [IS010] [Original text: English]

- H. Exc. Mons. Jean ZERBO, Archbishop of Bamako (MALI)

In our relationships with political authorities, we cannot act otherwise. Interpersonal relationships allow correcting the injustices more than hyped-up declarations. This is what our elder bishops of Mali have learnt and especially Mons. Luc Sangare. In the way of the prophet Nathan and especially inspired by the advice and example of Jesus, he did not hesitate to ask for face-to-face audiences with the political officials at all levels. Some received him, others preferred to go to him. Thanks to the meetings held in mutual respect and love for the truth, prepared in prayer and meditation, they led enemies and political adversaries to speak with each other, to hold out their hands. It is on these steps that we make every effort to make our Church a faithful servant and vigilant on justice, reconciliation and peace.
It is a plea to especially ask ourselves in this year of the priest on the way bishops, priests, religious and elderly catechists, sick people, are treated in retirement. Are they placed in a situation that allows them to experience truly the promise of Jesus: that of having fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children on this earth - in other words to be surrounded by affectionate thanks of those they accepted to leave everything to follow Jesus for? I would like to invite the Synod to turn the attention of the missionary Institutes to the manner of dealing with their members in retirement age. Returning to one’s birth town is not accepted by all. In fact, while some clearly express their wish to return to their birth town for their retirement, others on the contrary feel this return like a terrible tearing. Obedience obliges some, but how much suffering is lived in silence, and expressed in the retirement homes in moving terms.

[00292-02.o2] [IS011] [Original text: French]

- H. Exc. Mons. Beatus KINYAIYA, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop of Mbulu (TANZANIA)

The continent of Africa has two faces. In some places one would find Africa at its best: forests with all sorts of fauna and flora and lovely mountains. But in other places Africa is bleeding from land degradation.
The best part of Africa is attracting thousands of tourists who are contributing a good share to our national budgets. But the bad news is that the Church in Africa is not doing justice to the catholic tourists who need spiritual accompaniment. In many places where these tourists visit do not have chaplains assigned specifically for them. I therefore call upon the synod fathers to pronounce to all diocese which cater for tourists to ensure that tourists are taken care of spiritually.
The second face of Africa is that of destruction. Land degradation through our irresponsible activities is rampant. As a result Africa is now facing severe droughts, soil erosion and even floods in some places. Given the situation, some people area forced to become ‘environmental refugees’. These environmental refugees are also suffering just like other refugees. We have to do justice to them as well. It is for this reason that I call upon this synod to put pressure on us all and on our governments, whether in Africa or Europe or America, to use our planet resources with moderation and in a sustainable manner.

[00293-02.03] [IS012] [Original text: English]


The following Fraternal Delegate delivered his intervention in writing:

- His Grace Owdenburg Moses MDEGELLA, Bishop of the Lutheran Diocese of Iringa (TANZANIA)

Below the summary of the intervention not presented in the Hall, but delivered in written form by Fraternal Delegate:

- His Grace Owdenburg Moses MDEGELLA, Bishop of the Lutheran Diocese of Iringa (TANZANIA)

My intervention is from Instrumentum Laboris, chapter 1 section 11 p. 5, last sentence. However, much of it has been overtaken by the synod summary of 13th October. I will briefly speak on three areas namely repentance, resistance and collaboration.
I quote, “Basically what blackens {the} African society comes from the heart (Cf. Mtt. 15:18-19; Mk. 7:15; see also Gen 4)”. A special focus is given to Gen 4.
Forces that have depleted Africa have been both internal and external. Much has been spoken about external forces in this synod and over the years. I will concentrate on the internal forces.
Repentance: for true reconciliation, justice and peace to take place in Africa and to have viable metanoia, African leaders in all spheres of influence and in all walks of life must be transformed and be agents of transformation. While faith is probably feasible, repentance is not. The universal Church has to call African national leaders to repentance concerning atrocities, brutality, blood shedding, violence, deceit, misuse of natural resources, excessive use of power, abuse, rape, vote rigging, manipulation and corruption and many more others.
Resistance: the universal church has to resist and desist from leaders who do not fear God. Instead they should lead them to fear God, exercise truthfulness, respect freedom, justice and human rights and dignity of all people and seek peace and reconciliation.
Collaboration: With reverence and humility, I suppose, no one church denomination should stand alone in inculcating reconciliation, peace and justice. No one single church can shine alone and cause global palatability alone. Being the light of the world and the salt of the earth, the universal church has to foster the spirit of ecumenism amongst other denominations and be in dialogue with other faiths.

[00296-02.02] [DF005] [Original text: English]


The following Auditors delivered their interventions in writing only:

- Mr. Ngon-Ka-Ningueyo (François) MADJADOUM, Director of SECADEV (Catholic Assistance and Development) (CHAD)
- Mrs. Marie-Madeleine KALALA NGOY MONGI, Lawyer, Honorary Minister of Human Rights (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)
- Rev. Sister Marie-Bernard ALIMA MBALULA, Secretary of the Commission Justice and Peace, National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) and of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (A.C.E.A.C.), Kinshasa (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)
- Dr. Victor M. SCHEFFERS, Secretary General of the Commission Justice and Peace of Netherlands, The Hague (NETHERLANDS)
- Rev. Sister Bernadette MASEKAMELA, C.S., Superior General of the Sisters of Calvary (BOTSWANA)
- Prof. Gustave LUNJIWIRE-NTAKO-NNANVUME, International Secretary of the Mouvement of the Catholic Action of Xavéri (MAC Xavéri), responsible for the laity in the Region of Kivu (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)
- Mr. Kpakile FÉLÉMOU, Director of DREAM Center, Conakry (GUINEA)
- Mrs. Rose BUSINGYE, Founder and President of Meeting Point International, Kampala (UGANDA)
- Mrs. Axelle FISCHER, General Secretary of the Commission Jiustice and Peace, Bruxelles (BELGIUM)
- Dr. Christophe HABIYAMBERE, President of "Fidesco", Kigali (RWANDA)
- Rev. Sister Mary Anne Felicitas KATITI, L.M.S.I., Mother Provincial of the Congregation of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate (ZAMBIA)
- Rev. Sister Bédour Antoun (Irini) SHENOUDA, N.D.A., Provincial Mother of the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, Cairo (EGYPT)
- Rev. Sister Cecilia MKHONTO, S.S.B., Superior General of the Sisters of St. Brigid (SOUTH AFRICA)
- Mr. Maged MOUSSA YANNY, Executive Director of the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development (EGYPT)
- Dr. Orochi Samuel ORACH, Assistant Executive Secretary of the "Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau", Kampala (UGANDA)
- Mr. Emmanuel Habuka BOMBANDE, Executive Director of "West Africa Network for Peacebulding" (W.A.N.E.P.) (GHANA)
- Mr. Jules Adachédé HOUNKPONOU, General Secretary of the International Coordination of the Working Christian Youth (C.I.G.i.O.C.) (BENIN)
- Fr. Joaquín ALLIENDE, President of the International Association “Kirche in Not", Germany (CHILE)
- Dr. Munshya CHIBILO, Head of Distance Adoption Projects of the Pope John XXIII Community Association (ZAMBIA)
- Mr. Augustine OKAFOR, Specialist in government administration (NIGERIA)

Below are the summaries of the interventions not presented in the Hall, but delivered in written form by the Auditors:

- Mr. Ngon-Ka-Ningueyo (François) MADJADOUM, Director of SECADEV (Catholic Assistance and Development) (CHAD)

After the Darfur conflict, the Sudanese refugees migrated to Eastern Chad from the year 2003 on. To the almost 250,000 refugees, one must add more than 1,500,000 heads of cattle. This massive arrival increased the pressure on natural resources.
Catholic Aid and Development (SECADEV) manages three refugee camps: Kounoungou, Mile and Farchana which today accommodate 55,000 persons. It co-ordinates humanitarian aid, takes care of the locations of the shelters and infrastructure, of the distribution of food and other supplies, the provision of potable water, of hygiene, of cleaning up and of the environment.
Peaceful co-existence among the refugees and the welcoming populations is tied to the fact that the refugees and the native populations, financed by the Caritas network, revived the agricultural and livestock activities within certain villages.
Conflicts which transpire over straw, firewood or land, are about the aggressions towards women who go for wood; the refusal to give land to the refugees to cultivate, etc.
The following alternatives have been put into place: a specific formation is given to the leaders of the socio-community sector to follow and accompany the female victims of aggression.
SECADEV does what it can for “the mission of serving peace”, it does the service of society without distinction between ethnic groups, for religion or nationality: all people are created in the image of God and its duty is to save those who are in distress.
SECADEV works in an environment that is prevalently Islamic: over 90% of the population and therefore its actions are a type of dialogue with Islam. It is recognized as a Christian work, but it is appreciated and respected.

[00209-02.03] [UD025] [Original text: French]

- Mrs. Marie-Madeleine KALALA NGOY MONGI, Lawyer, Honorary Minister of Human Rights (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)

If it is true that the number of Catholic Christians has increased since the first Synodal Assembly, has Africa’s image changed because of this? The best of her children participated or participate in the governing of their country but once in place, they change their behavior, just as mentioned by one of the Synod Fathers who spoke about the co-existence of two consciences in this hall! They are the same ones we see at Sunday Mass, that we find at the same time in resurgence groups or better yet in lodgings!
As long as poverty and war reign, it will be difficult to find united families, in the image of the one in Nazareth, within which, in addition to love, education will be a priority. Education transforms the human being, moulds ethical values, it can fight the false gods (fetishes, witchcraft, Hindu enrichment, selfishness, mysticism, etc.)
The Church must urgently:
- Commit without fear to the path, not only of denunciation, but of disapproval, and why not the condemnation of Catholic leaders’ ambiguous behavior;
- Invite them to restore the family within the society for a better social politics that allows access to all to education;
- Increase the benefits allotted to the chaplains for the young and for students;
- Intensify the formation of the laity and the Christian families notably through a simplification of the compendium of the social doctrine of the Church, which should be the bedside book of every person of good will;
- Increase the moments and spaces of collaboration between herself and the different “actors”;- Ensure accompaniment of Catholic lay persons involved in politics by mechanisms well-understood by us all.

[00210-02.04] [UD026] [Original text: French]

- Rev. Sister Marie-Bernard ALIMA MBALULA, Secretary of the Commission Justice and Peace, National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) and of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (A.C.E.A.C.), Kinshasa (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)

God endowed women with specific gifts to take care of life. In effect, welcome, gratuity, the gift of self, compassion, tenderness, patience, foresight, solidarity, attention, goodness, understanding, etc. are some of the values recognized in women and that are necessary to giving life.
The consciousness of these gifts then becomes a mission, a task that involves woman in the specific testimony that society expects from her. In all domains where she is called to work, especially in the family, in the Church, in politics, in society, her fight, her contribution is to place human life at the heart of all concerns. Women are called upon to enrich all the spheres of these values of humanity with their effective and efficient presence.
Unfortunately we do not often feel the effects of this presence especially in the political sphere. A legitimate question would be: where are the women involved in politics when the African leaders create laws that destroy Africa? Women’s silence on these vital questions should worry us.
The woman’s mission is a demanding one, because it implies an ability of initiative, of creativity, of invention and encourages going against the tide in relationship to the culture of death and violence, which we deplore. She makes them change the social organization from within by bringing in a feminine touch.
In accomplishing this delicate mission, women need the collaboration of men so that together, man and woman, each may bring their own contribution to the humanization of society.

[00238-02.04] [UD027] [Original text: French]

- Dr. Victor M. SCHEFFERS, Secretary General of the Commission Justice and Peace of Netherlands, The Hague (NETHERLANDS)

The Church in Europe cannot distance itself from the political, social and economic problems of the African countries. In this intervention I'd like to pay attention to the Dutch response to the call of our sister commissions from abroad and from Africa in particular.
When it was created in 1968 by the Dutch Bishops' Conference, Justitia et Pax Netherlands was given the task of raising awareness within the Catholic community and beyond concerning the responsibility and ability of all people to play a part in bringing about justice and peace, both in our own country and worldwide. Justitia et Pax-Netherlands gives it a present-day interpretation, by informing, inspiring, motivating and mobilizing Catholics to contribute to the promotion of a just global society; and by influencing social and political processes, jointly with others in our civil society who share this vision.
Our solidarity with sister-commissions working for justice, peace and reconciliation can take many forms. We assist them in building up their capacity to standing up for their rights themselves, and take an active part in awareness raising, advocacy and lobbying in their country and internationally, developing a strategy to link moral indignation (as articulated by many bishops during this Synod) to practical political solutions that are presented at the right time and in the right way to our own government, at the European Union, at the United Nations.
I would like to encourage all bishops to invite the laity, women and men, to work with them in the justice and peace commissions at all levels of the Church.

[00239-02.02] [UD028] [Original text: English]

- Rev. Sister Bernadette MASEKAMELA, C.S., Superior General of the Sisters of Calvary (BOTSWANA)

I present my topic as Diocesan Congregations vs Self Reliance for empowerment. I refer to The Instrumentum Laboris chapter 1 (20) which talks about self sufficiency in view of the fact that aid to Africa is diminishing. I want to believe that we have come a long way as Africans and many of our countries have moved from extreme poverty to a more descent state of economic affair. In the case of diocesan congregations, it is not only foreign aid that is diminishing, but diocesan support is also minimal or even not there to sustain them, let alone their structures and projects.
Diocesan congregations are part of the structure of the Church. If they are to participate in the mission of the Church at all levels including the highest level of policy, advocacy in all spheres, then they need to be spiritually, theologically and professionally formed, and how can they be formed if they do not have the means? This is the challenge that I want to address not only to the leadership with Diocesan congregations but to the Diocesan congregations themselves to rise up and do something.
In my view therefore, Most Reverend Fathers and Mothers, I strongly believe that if we diocesan congregations are to be agents of justice, peace and reconciliation (of course starting with ourselves in our communities) we have to take greater initiatives to empower ourselves. This in my view can also foster greater collaboration with the Church leaders.
My appeal therefore to the diocesan congregations is: to consider seriously embarking on diversifying our economic source and be self reliant. To diversify our apostolate and train sisters who can participate at the highest level in various forums. Lastly to be prepared to move beyond the boundaries of our dioceses to offer our expertise at national, regional and international level.

[00244-02.02] [UD029] [Original text: English]

- Prof. Gustave LUNJIWIRE-NTAKO-NNANVUME, International Secretary of the Mouvement of the Catholic Action of Xavéri (MAC Xavéri), responsible for the laity in the Region of Kivu (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)

A brief objective look at Africa reveals that between 60 to 70% of the African population is less than 30 years old.
This youth lives in various crises. Despite being Africans the young are more distracted by a style of life, attitudes, values and thoughts inspired by the Western world.
In general, they lead lives without ideals and without hope for a stable tomorrow. Those who are fortunate enough to study do this without the hope of short or medium-term employment.
It follows that there is systematic unemployment and a dispersion of youth characterized by: involvement in armed forces, the brain darin and clandestine immigration, juvenile delinquency of all sorts, drug addiction, prostitution, etc...The inadequacy of the infrastructures of education and the demographic evolution has negative effects on the abilities of youth with all the consequences this implies on all levels.
Morally vulnerable, it is through them that new ideologies operate, sects, homosexuality, drug addiction, trafficking of human beings, recruitment of mercenaries and rebel armies.
Future leaders of governmental and ecclesial institutions; youth does not benefit from an attention and accompaniment proportional to its demographic importance.
The durability of reconciliation, justice and peace in Africa could be influenced by youth and the Catholic Action Movements from the Xaveri Movement.
This mission to be entrusted to them requires permanent formation of the cadres. Also, it is necessary to promote inculturation, to favor and support meetings between youth and the members of the movements in different countries, different regions, to offer occasions for the exchange of experiences promoters of peace, of justice and of peaceful co-habitation; and agents of evangelization, witnesses of their faith in today’s African context, loving their culture and referring to it for the transmission of the Message and development.

[00245-02.03] [UD030] [Original text: French]

- Mr. Kpakile FÉLÉMOU, Director of DREAM Center, Conakry (GUINEA)

In the Gospel according to Matthew, in Chapter 25, the Lord recognizes Himself in the poor. In John He says to the disciples: “Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
These are the dimensions of the Community of Sant’Egidio: to stay in Christ and love the poor and to open oneself to the city, to the world. In close to thirty African countries, our Communities live by the rhythm of prayer, of those of the poor: Saint Egidio is a sure friend, and faithful help to us all: prisoners, orphans, street children, foreigners, the sick, AIDS victims and their families, refugees, the list is long. We work in the service of peace, it benefits all of us, rich as well as poor, today this is well-known after the Mozambique peace treaties signed in 1992, thanks to the mediation of the Community and the Italian Government. The Universities in Guinea, in the Ivory Coast, in Cameroon, etc... are the new areopagi where often we have proposed the Gospel. Our experience as a movement makes us understand how numerous the questions addressed to the Church in Africa are, but also how strongly the Spirit breathes there. How beautiful it is to see African lay persons involve themselves in prayer and work for the poor. In the movements, the Africans free themselves of the spirit of victimization, of resignation and of the pointless fear of occult practices, so widespread on our continent.
The movements are often a bridge between Africa and the North of the world, they give rise to laity able to close the distances. In conclusion:
- The Synod, it would seem, is the appropriate occasion to encourage the movements of lay persons, the better to save young people without faith and to answer the needs of faith, of spirituality in their states of being and offer effective friendship which answers the problems they are experiencing.
- The young, often disoriented, are looking for a dignified life. They look for a better future and try to love their country. To serve the poor, for them, is also a liberation from the dictatorship of practical materialism that threatens their lives. Here, the encounter with the Muslims is more concrete and less tense. The Bishops of the North and those of Africa must become friends, with greater trust, they must advance their point of view of history.- The Bishops of Africa should seize this Synod to put an end in Africa to the prorogation of the presidential mandates that have expired or are on the way out. And this under all possible forms of presentation. In the same way, the should totally restrain the “bequesthing” of central power to the progeny. You will be applauded and supported by the Africa that suffers and the indignant world. We run a serious risk in the next 10 years that African societies will have new rebels who will be the consequences of extended presidential mandates.

[00246-02.03] [UD031] [Original text: French]

- Mrs. Rose BUSINGYE, Founder and President of Meeting Point International, Kampala (UGANDA)

Faith has to penetrate the deepest layers of the human, it has to arrive at the point where the criteria for perceiving things are formed, it also has to penetrate that which is considered profane and transform it into a benefit for everyone.
There is a starting point. The start is in the gesture of God.
If man believes, this is the road by which he can recognize himself and live this belonging, this attachment to God, obeying his company, the Church, thus arriving at happiness, justice and peace for himself and for everyone. A man who knows where he is coming from and where he is going. A new criteria for relating to things, one’s children, school, politics and the environment is born from faith.
To construct justice, reconciliation and peace, we have to start with building the human, helping man to be himself, to be human; not starting from a detail, but from his totality.
Man “is” the desire for justice, peace and reconciliation. The Synod for me is an occasion to discover the meaning of these words, that is the meaning of life and all the problems that are present in Africa and throughout the whole world. The Synod for me is a challenge to discover the full dignity of human life.
Without awareness of our humanity we cannot help ourselves, never mind offer real help to others. Instead of helping others and ourselves, we will continue to complain, to offer only compassion and, for the sake of responding in some way, we would deceive them.
If one grasps the meaning in itself and the value of human life, treats oneself and others well, one possesses all that is required to change lives and become a point of change for all, in the style of the Benedictine monks who built European civilization. But when they too lapsed in their faith, dualism and division appeared on the scene, bringing destruction and chaos.
I have witnessed a new people born from faith, a changed people. In Uganda, a group of desperately poor AIDS sufferers make a living breaking up rocks and selling them to builders; they eat once a day. When they heard about the tsunami or Hurricane Katrina in America, when we asked them to pray for the victims, they told us: “We know what it means to be homeless and hungry. If they belong to God, they also belong to us.” They organized themselves into groups to break up rocks: eventually they collected $2,000 and sent them to the American Embassy. And this year after the earthquake in L’Aquila they said: “They’re Italians, from the Pope’s country; they’re our friends, no, our tribe,” and they collected and sent 2,000 euros. Journalists were scandalized; they came to see if these people really were poor. For them it isn’t fair: when you give what you have left over in charity, you’re not giving what you really need. A sick woman said to them: “Man’s heart is international, it doesn’t have a race or a color, and is moved”.

[00247-02.03] [UD032] [Original text: Italian]

- Mrs. Axelle FISCHER, General Secretary of the Commission Jiustice and Peace, Bruxelles (BELGIUM)

Pardon is a gift. It is given and received at the highest level of liberty.
What we should and must do is to help create the conditions that favor this pardon.
Peace is God’s desire, its other name is that of Jesus. Also, let us ask the question: how to tie peace announced in faith, and the harsh reality of our world?
Justice is complex, it has different faces. Transitionally, justice initiates processes to put an end to conflict and end up in reconciliation, in following the non-judicial and the judicial methods. Because it is punitive, justice is also this: on the national level first of all and, and if this is lacking, on the international level, through the International Penal Court or the international penal penal tribunals. Justice may also be restorative, in the light of repairing the prejudices caused. Finally, justice can arise by following traditional rites.
These different aspects of justice are complementary, and nothing can stop a country from drawing lessons from what was done properly in other parts of the world. But we will only take up the path of reconciliation if each population receives civic formation and a political conscience, which political and economic players are obliged to keep in mind. If this is true for Africa, this is also true for the so-called “developed” countries.
Sexual violence, atrocious in itself, is even more so during wars used as a weapon of war: it knowingly spreads terror in the communities and breaks society down. Many women are subjected to this violence. Still alive, they stay standing, for their children and their families. I even know some who cultivate their fields during the night at the risk of their lives, so the communities can continue to be fed.
To be victims is not a role that belongs to women. They are the players of justice, peace and reconciliation. To recognize this involves our dignity to each, man or woman, in the Church and in society. To work together so that peace may bear the fruits of justice.

[00248-02.04] [UD033] [Original text: French]

- Dr. Christophe HABIYAMBERE, President of "Fidesco", Kigali (RWANDA)

The Community of Emmanuel, founded by Pierre Goursat, was started in Rwanda by Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba in 1990. From the outset, it brought together Rwandans without distinguishing between ethnic groups. Cyprien always said: “There are no Hutus or Tutsis, we are all children of God.” Our community paid a heavy price during the genocide: about twenty brothers, among them Cyprien and Daphrose - died in 1994, leaving behind beautiful testimonies. In 1997, other brothers died in the Bukavu camps after having dedicated their lives to evangelization.
This community participated in the elaboration of a way to reconciliation that the Church in Rwanda developed before the Great Jubilee.
The Emmanuel is also involved in supporting Catholics who are in politics and in the upper echelons of our country’s leadership through the Circle of St. Thomas More. This support group prays and fasts for politicians when they are faced with critical situations or difficult decisions, and gives them retreats, formation and documentation pertaining to the Catholic faith.

[00249-02.03] [UD034] [Original text: French]

- Rev. Sister Mary Anne Felicitas KATITI, L.M.S.I., Mother Provincial of the Congregation of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate (ZAMBIA)

Speaking as an African woman and a Zambia woman in particular, I ask this Synod to pay special attention to dignity of women that still needs to be fostered in both Church and Society. I feel women have no real voice when it comes to their places and rights and their contributions to the task of evangelization.
This important issue of women must be dealt with by our Church if our consideration of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace is to be grounded in the reality of our African Continent. We know well that women are burdened with heavy responsibilities in today's difficult economic situations, especially at grassroots level, and have to cope with a lot of abuses and violence both in their homes and society at large.
What can we learn from the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ in responding today to the challenge of justice for women in Africa? Recall that Jesus grew up and proclaimed the message of the Kingdom in a male-dominated culture and society. But how did women fare in the company of Jesus? Listen to the words of Luke 8: 1-3.
Considering the status of women in his time, what Our Lord Jesus did was absolutely revolutionary. Contrary to the strong religious and cultural norms of the day, Jesus wanted the restricted and privileged circles that lived with him as he went from village to village to include women. Cannot our Church of today in Africa, and in the wider world, follow this revolutionary example of Jesus?
Surely, the Church as Family must live this Justice within herself, and Justice demands that we look seriously at the places and treatment of women in the Church, and how women could be more part of the decision-making process, especially as women pastoral agents.

[00250-02.02] [UD035] [Original text: English]

- Rev. Sister Bédour Antoun (Irini) SHENOUDA, N.D.A., Provincial Mother of the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, Cairo (EGYPT)

Role as spiritual scouts and animators: our intercultural communities and community life make us witnesses of communion and love in a broken world.
Role in education and social development: a witness of truth in the evangelical message and the sincerity of Christians in their faith. Special attention to the poor and immigrants, who are fertile areas for conversion to Islam...
Role of aid to Christians to deepen their spirit of belonging to the country,
Inter-religious dialogue of all sorts: the dialogue of life, the dialogue in life, popular and daily dialogue.
Dialogue of action, through which Christians collaborate with their brothers and sisters in the integral development and liberation of peoples,
Dialogue of religious experiences, to dare to tell of my faith and to dare to recognize the religious values of others with different beliefs.Whichever path is taken, and the “acquisition” of our apostolic activities, we are invited to always progress and face some challenges:
From the perspective of faith and reconciliation, it is urgent to increase religious formation of the young Sisters to intensely live these forms of dialogue, listening, collaboration, the contacts and the challenge on difference and the development that allows a benevolent look and an openness of spirit, and to approach Islam as a religion, a faith, a belief and not as enemies, aggressors or terrorists. If we want fanaticism to decrease, Muslims and Christians must work together.
The real challenge to be picked up for the future is that of ignorance, misery and injustice. Fertile terrain for violence and extremism. To find a compassionate and creative answer, coming from our deepest being as women to the new situations of suffering, of exclusion, of poverty and of marginalization, especially in the large cities,
To welcome but also to take the time “to go towards them”.

[00251-02.03] [UD036] [Original text: French]

- Rev. Sister Cecilia MKHONTO, S.S.B., Superior General of the Sisters of St. Brigid (SOUTH AFRICA)

To truly understand the idea of the Church as family, we have to look at the values of the family in· the African context. Members of a family care for each other and their lives and actions reflect the image of one united body, this is also an aspect summarized in one word - UBUNTU. We church leaders, bishops, priests and religious are called to be examples of the family of God especially in situations that call us to do so, we ought to continuously reflect on how we are witnessing to this reality .
What are some of the problems facing Diocesan Women Religious?
1.Lack of education which in most cases disadvantages the Diocesan Sisters from participating at a higher level of apostolate in the Church which can make them better persons and improve their living conditions.
2.High expectations from family members for financial support, from the Sisters, which causes inner conflict and to a large extent harm to the community. This also leads some sisters to be too attached to their biological families.
3.The trauma of experiencing the loss of so many members of one’s family due to HIV/AIDS. Children of parents who die from HIV/AIDS are left as orphans with no one to take care of them.
4.Poor working conditions for the sisters especially due to lack of proper contracts or no contracts signed with the respective Church leaders.
In the light of these problems the Sisters are torn between family and religious life, they live unfulfilled lives which are against what Christ called them to, when He says: " If you want to follow me, go sell everything and follow me".
If we are to be a Christian family then my appeal would be that we should care for one another and consider:
- Equal treatment for both diocesan priest and sister.
- Good family ministry that will educate our people about the Church and in particular about religious life so as to reduce high expectations from these consecrated men and women.
- We cannot talk of justice outside without revisiting our own structures and improving the conditions of work for our workers including the Diocesan Sisters.

[00267-02.03] [UD039] [Original text: English]

- Mr. Maged MOUSSA YANNY, Executive Director of the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development (EGYPT)

The questions which are always asked by Christians living in countries with Muslim majority are: l. Should we, Christians, enter into dialogue with Muslims who sometimes show hostility and violence from extremist Islamic groups and intolerance and rejection from our neighbours?
3. How can the church members work towards building lasting peace?
Allow me to speak of the experience of the Justice and Peace Commission in Egypt which was one of the first initiatives in Egypt.
In the eighties and nineties Egypt lived a difficult time of violence from Islamic extremist groups ... top officials, writers, policemen and many Christians were victims of this violence. The justice and peace commission in 1992 invited Muslims and Christians in a round-table meeting [writers, journalists, media experts, human rights activists, members from Muslim brotherhood movement and members from different parties] justice and peace commission offered a platform for free expression of one’s points of view.
The idea behind this dialogue was to diagnose the problem, suggest solutions if possible and reinforce the values of citizenship, tolerance and acceptance. This dialogue was published in a book under the title of National Dialogue. Till now we can see the results of that dialogue when the participants defends the values and ideas of reconciliation and citizenship. Some of the important points that came up in this meeting to which we need to pay attention are:
- The importance of working with children in schools to inculcate in them indirectly the values of reconciliation, acceptance, etc.
- Clearing the education curriculum from all the texts that lead to increased intolerance and hatred.
- The importance of the media which sometimes work against peace building.
- Attention should be paid to the message given by religious men, Muslims and Christians alike.
- Finally I think dialogue should not remain aloof as though it was for the elite and inside closed rooms but be put into practice. It should reach the public to have an effect.
So let us continue dialoguing with our Muslim brothers to build a better world reconciled, peaceful and just.

[00268-02.03] [UD040] [Original text: English]

- Dr. Orochi Samuel ORACH, Assistant Executive Secretary of the "Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau", Kampala (UGANDA)

Significant contributions have indeed been made to health by religious bodies in all African countries largely due to support from our brothers and sisters outside the continent. Church health facilities have sustained care to the poor in most moments of conflicts. They have become the beacon of hope where corruption has riddled the national health system. But not only wars have destroyed health facilities and schools. Sustainability of these huge contributions is now also economically threatened.
Majority, if not all, governments in Africa remain unable to provide health care single-handed. Yet there is a big move to shift foreign support going to non-state organisation to general budget support of governments. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Plan of Action (2008) aims at channeling aid through governments and having governments in the driving seat. In principle this is good. But the changing aid modalities make access to resources by churches quite dependant on the mood of individual African governments. In Uganda budget support from government is dropping and last year financed only 19% of recurrent costs of religious health facilities. Yet demand for care and unit cost of services keep rising tremendously making it difficult to reduce user fees for the poor; at the same time government demands that religious health facilities should provide free health care.
In countries where religious bodies are viewed as critics of government policies, Paris Declaration could provide opportunity for governments to restrict access to aid money by institutions belonging to such religious bodies. Yet we know these donor monies come from Catholics as well in those countries who hope that Catholic health facilities will also be beneficiaries.

[00269-02.02] [UD041] [Original text: English]

- Mr. Emmanuel Habuka BOMBANDE, Executive Director of "West Africa Network for Peacebulding" (W.A.N.E.P.) (GHANA)

One critical issue underpinning violent conflicts in many African Communities is how to deal with the burden of the History. The antecedents of history from the slave trade to colonization sowed mistrust and division between groups which has now become a fault line around which some political and civic leaders mobilize their people against others to win votes and secure power. Many communities are holding on to a narrative of the past as victims to justify their hatred for others. Others are holding on to a narrative of the past as victors to continue to claim dominion over others. In both cases, a vicious cycle of violence and raging destruction is enslaving all of us as victims of the injustices of the past. This can no longer continue. It is time to design and put in place the functioning structures that must bring forth the true meaning of Justice and Peace. This is the Justice and the Peace the Instrumentum Laboris exhorts under paragraphs 44, 45, 46 and 47.
In Ghana, the Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited Civil Society Organizations such as WANEP to support the efforts of the Bishops in promoting intercommunal and intra communal dialogue. This engagement is inclusive of political and civil leaders. Communities who have been torn apart for over 80 years such as Nkonya and Alavanyo have overcome violence. They are learning to co-exist peacefully and how to deal with their disagreements non-violently and with mutual respect for one another.
In 2008, Ghana had to deal with challenges similar to those of many other African Countries leading up to general elections in December 2008. In expressing concretely the prophetic mission of the Church, the Bishops engaged pro-actively at the time it was most needed, providing an enabling space with civil society dialogue support in which the leaders of the main political parties encountered one another and shared frankly their mistrust and suspicions about one another and therefore the perceived outcomes of the elections. This space held the leaders accountable to their responsibilities to ensure non-violence in the elections. This process of engagement through dialogue also mitigated the potential for post election violence.
The current trends clearly indicate that elections in Africa will be highly contested with the potential for increased election related violence.

[00270-02.03] [UD042] [Original text: English]

- Mr. Jules Adachédé HOUNKPONOU, General Secretary of the International Coordination of the Working Christian Youth (C.I.G.i.O.C.) (BENIN)

Thus are summarized in two points the goal of the JOC since its inception in 1925 by Father Joseph Cardijn to help ordinary young people place their lives in relationship to faith and to diminish the distance of the contradiction that exists between the truth of reality and the truth of faith. The mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the nations is always current and that of bringing the light of the Gospel to the most vulnerable victims of all sorts of injustice has never been more urgent.
On the national level, the movements organized training towards involvement and responsibility, of recollections and of campaign actions during which young persons have been true “apostles of the young to the young”.
At the regional and international levels, and, after “Ecclesia in Africa”, the international secretary of the JOC organized 12 meetings for the exchange and formation of national officials, chaplains and chaperons.
The benefit of these meetings is that they stimulate solidarity between the young people, cultural intermingling, the exchange of different social, cultural and political realities, openness of spirit, and the youths’ consciousness of the regional or international dimension of the situations they are living in today.
The picture of the situation of youths in Africa is not particularly inspiring today.
The weight of their burdens distances youths from their faith. They dissociate their professional lives from their faith. They are spiritually fragile and do not realize that getting involved with the Church can help them become stronger. They need to be joined by young people of the same age, their same profession, to be transformed.
I would like to suggest:
- that the knowledge of Catholic Action be reinforced in the seminaries to prepare future priests to this type of guidance;
- that the movements of Catholic Action be used as the strategic means in the plan for pastoral action to accomplish reconciliation in justice and in peace.

[00279-02.01] [UD043] [Original text: French]

- Fr. Joaquín ALLIENDE, President of the International Association “Kirche in Not", Germany (CHILE)

The Word Made Flesh is not only the content of our message but also the method of our action. We know that the Greek etymology of the word “method” means the path to reach the goal. On the other hand, African culture’s affinity withincarnation is also known. I too come from a culture that is not purely European. I come from Latin America and I belong to the Marian Movement of Schoenstatt, founded by a prophetic priest who brought a pedagogy of liberty for Christian maturity to the Church. I was the rector of the National Sanctuary of Chile, my country, dedicated to Our Lady. All this gave me the opportunity to experience in a concrete way this method of incarnation. I dare to respectfully present you with three reflections.
The Marian tradition of the Church is a precious treasure that we must take care of and help to grow. She is not a reality that is simply there like an object and that exists merely as a natural fact. The feminine presence of Mary is necessary to find a satisfactory synthesis between revealed faith and the richness of love between a man and a woman. She has a pedagogical charism to establish the relationship between the revealed faith and existential life between individuals and communities, between the building of the Church and the well-founded fraternity in the world and in culture.
The Holy Spirit has led several baptized Africans to sanctity. These are moving stories of love which should become missionary signs and strengths. Many of them could be beatified and canonized. There are some exceptional examples whose efforts we could consider together. Let us think about the marvelous history of the testimony of reconciliation of the martyrs from the Buta Seminary in Burundi. From a more general viewpoint, it might be useful to prepare a manual for beatifications in Africa.
In the living tradition of the Church, sanctuaries are a privileged space of evangelization and sanctity. Natural religions and Islam also have holy places. For us, the Word Made Flesh sanctified the times and the land. On the other hand, the Church has the liturgical time and the location of the temple. The history of the pastoral tells us that for centuries the methods of incarnation had centers of daring creativity to evangelize and sanctify the people in sanctuaries.

[00280-02.01] [UD044] [Original text: French]

- Dr. Munshya CHIBILO, Head of Distance Adoption Projects of the Pope John XXIII Community Association (ZAMBIA)

I want to emphasise the importance of working for reconciliation with young people, through a non-violent approach that promotes education for the very poor. I illustrate this with the specific experience of our Community Pope John XXIII in one of our projects in Ndola, Zambia, with street chidren, in this case with boys.
Our Community noticed the fact that when we went to throw rubbish to a dumping place, we used to find boys there who came to offload our refuse and then immediately started sorting it out. The boys were organised in such a way that the eldest was the team leader and was giving instructions to the youger ones.
Our Community Pope John XXIII developed an interest in the situation and started going to the dumping site every other day for one hour. We talked with them and occasionally took them some food. In the process we became friends, listening to their stories of why they were found in such a dangerous place. Some of the reasons were as follows:
- Most of them were orphans, having lost one or both parents due to various diseases, including malaria or HIV and AIDS.
- No school for them because they had no one to pay the necessary costs.
- No work for them because they had no paper from a school.
- Poverty was the common experience in their homes.
- In some cases, property, including the house, had been grabbed by relatives when their father died, and the children were threatened to be killed using witchcraft if they resisted or tried to go to the police or to court.
CHICHETEKELO is a centre of attraction to both the Government and the local people. Some boys have completed secondary school and are now in colleges, as those with skills have secured regular employment in good companies.
I believe that this experience of our Community is clear testimony of a non-violent act of Justice and Peace in the Truth, whereby people are reconciled among themselves and with their God. Indeed, sustainable resolutions are possible to be found in order for our children to be better protected and to be given the chance to grow into good people of the world and good people of God.

[00281-02.02] [UD045] [Original text: English]

- Mr. Augustine OKAFOR, Specialist in government administration (NIGERIA)

The 2007/2008 edition of the Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Programme shows that all, but three, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa fall into the category of the least developed countries in the world. The poverty facts/statistics are getting worse in most African countries.
I believe strongly that governments in all countries, and more so in Africa, bear the primary responsibility for lifting their citizenry out of abject poverty and that governance is all about sustainable human development. In the Encyclical Letter “Populorum Progressio"” Pope Paul VI articulated his vision of development as the “goal of rescuing people, first and foremost, from hunger, deprivation, endemic diseases and illiteracy”. It is suggested that the State should direct its energy and resources to drastic improvement in education, food security, development of its social and physical infrastructure, gender equity, enhancing the internal capacities of disadvantaged communities. We must in this regard, emphasize the promotion of active participation of civil society not only in governance but in all facets of human and social capital development.
The question that arises from the foregoing is “What is the role of the Church in addressing the development challenges faced by African countries?” The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, dealt extensively with this issue in the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate. First, he recognized the need to grow “new forms of engagement to address the challenges of today's world”. The Church is an integral part of the society and should show greater involvement in the human and social development agenda of the State.
It can play this role through an institutionalised mechanism to drive its participation or interest in the formulation and implementation of public policies and programmes. It should also develop structures to facilitate and promote dialogue, partnership and regular contact with government and its agencies. The Church in Africa should increase its visibility as a voice of the voiceless and disadvantaged members of the society. The lay faithful should be sensitised and incorporated in this Church-and-State enterprise. Permit me, as a final note, to quote the advice of the Holy Father in Caritas in Veritate that “man is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life”.

[00294-02.02] [UD046] [Original text: English]




The International Piano Academy “Meetings With The Maestro” of Imola will put on a concert in honor of and in the presence of His Holiness Benedict XVI. Saturday 17th October 2006, at 6pm, in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, the Chinese pianist Jin Ju will perform on seven instruments belonging to the collection of the Palazzo Monsignani in Imola, from the late 18th-century table fortepiano to the modern grancoda from the early 20th century. The concert will follow synthetically the history and evolution of the pianoforte on original instruments, and falls on the academy’s 20th anniversary, having been founded in 1989 by Franco Scala. The academy’s mission is to form concert pianists through a careful selection of talent, a teaching offer based on excellence, the study of musical programs aimed at the formation of wide repertories. Jin Ju, born in Shanghai in 1976 into a family of musicians, began studying the pianoforte at the age of four. She took her Master’s at the central Conservatory of Beijing and her certificate of honor at the Chigiana Academy in Siena. She is presently pianoforte assistant at the International Piano Academy in Imola. For the occasion she will play: J.S. Bach, Prelude No.1 Well-Tempered Clavier vol. 1 BWV 846; D. Scarlatti, Sonata in C Minor. K 159, with table Fortepiano Wood Small, Edinburgh late 18th century; W.A. Mozart, Variations KV 500, with Fortepiano Johann Schantz, Vienna 1798 ca.; C. Czerny, Variations on «La ricordanza» op.33, with Fortepiano Johann Schantz, Vienna 1820 ca.; L.van Bethoven, Sonata “Quasi una fantasia” in C Sharp Minor. op. 27 n. 2 «Moonlight Sonata», with Fortepiano Conrad Graf n. 1041, Vienna 1825 ca.; F. Chopin, Ballade No.4 in F Minor. op. 52 con Pianoforte Erard, Paris late 19th century; P.J. Tchaikovsky, Da «The Seasons» op. 37, October No.10, August No. 8 with Pianoforte Steinway&Sons 1885; F. Liszt, Paraphrase of Rigoletto by G. Verdi R. 267, with Pianoforte Steinway&Sons 1900. The journalists can ask for tickets at the Accrediting Office of the Holy See Press Office.

[00295-02.03] [RE000] [Original text: Italian]


The second Press Conference on the Synod works (with simultaneous translations in Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) will be held in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office today, Wednesday 14 October 2009 (after the Relatio post disceptationem) at approximately 12.45 pm. Speakers:

- H. Em. Card. Wilfrid Fox NAPIER, O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban (SOUTH AFRICA), President Delegated
- H. Em. Card. Théodore-Adrien SARR, Archbishop of Dakar, First Vice-President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (S.E.C.A.M.) (SENEGAL), President Delegated
- H. Em. Card. John NJUE, Archbishop of Nairobi, President of the Episcopal Conference (KENYA), President of the Commission for Information
- H. Exc. Mons. Manuel António MENDES DOS SANTOS, C.M.F., Bishop of São Tomé e Príncipe (SÃO TOMÉ), Member of the Commission for Information

The third Press Conference on the Synod works (with simultaneous translations in Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) will be held in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office on Friday 23 October 2009 (after the Nuntius) at approximately 12.45 pm. Speakers:
- H. Exc. Mons. John Olorunfemi ONAIYEKAN, Archbishop of Abuja (NIGERIA), President of the Commission for the Message
- H. Exc. Mons. Youssef Ibrahim SARRAF, Bishop of Cairo of Chaldean Rite (EGYPT), Vice President of the Commission for the Message
- H. Exc. Mons. Francisco João SILOTA, M. Afr., Bishop of Chimoio, Second Vice-President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (S.E.C.A.M.) (MOZAMBIQUE), Member of the Commission for the Message

The fourth Press Conference on the Synod works (with simultaneous translations in Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) will be held in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office on Saturday 24 October 2009 (after the Elenchus finalis propositionem) at approximately 12.45 pm. Speakers:

- H. Em. Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, Archbishop of Cape Coast, President of the Association of the Episcopal ConferenceS of Western Africa (A.E.C.W.A.) (GHANA), Relator General
- H. Exc. Mons. Damião António FRANKLIN, Archbishop of Luanda, President of the Episcopal Conference (ANGOLA), Special Secretarie
- H. Exc. Mons. Edmond DJITANGAR, Bishop of Sarh (CHAD), Special Secretarie

The Press Conferences are presided by Rev. F. Federico LOMBARDI, S.I., Director of the Holy See Press Office, Secretary ex-officio of the Commission for Information of the II Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

For an access permit, audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers are requested to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The eighth Briefing for linguistic groups will be held (in the places and with the Press Attaché indicated in Bulletin N.2), Thursday 15 October 2009 at approximately 13.10.

The audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers are kindly requested to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications for their entry permit (very restricted).

The following briefings will take place, at approximately 13.10:
- Friday 16 October 2009 (with the presence of one Synodal Father for each language group; we will publish the nominal list tomorrow 15 october in the afternoon’s Bulletin, at the conclusion of the Fifteenth General Congregation).
- Saturday 17 October 2009
- Tuesday 20 October 2009


On the following days, pools of accredited journalists will have access to the Synod Hall in general for the opening prayer of the morning General Congregations.
- Thursday 15 October 2009
- Saturday 17 October 2009
- Tuesday 20 October 2009
- Friday 23 October 2009
- Saturday 24 October 2009

Registration lists for the pools will be available for reporters at the Information Accreditation desk of the Holy See Press Office (to the right of the entrance hall).

For the pools, the photographers and TV operators are kindly requested to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The Participants in the pools are kindly requested to meet at 8.30 am in the Press Sector which is located outside, in front of the entrance to the Paul VI Hall. From there they will be accompanied by an official of the Holy See Press Office (for reporters) and by an official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (for photographers and TV camera teams). Suitable dress is required.


The next Bulletin, with the summaries of the Working Groups Reports, that will be presented by the Speakers of the Working Groups of the Fifteenth General Congregation of tomorrow morning, Thursday 15 october 2009, will be made available to accredited journalists at the conclusion of the “Briefing”.


The following events will be transmitted live on the TV monitors in the Telecommunications Room, in the Journalists’ Room and in the John Paul II Conference Hall of the Holy See Press Office:
- Sunday 25 October 2008 (9:30 ): Solemn Concelebration of the Holy Mass at the conclusion of the Synod (Saint Peter’s Basilica).

Any variations will be published as soon as possible.


During the period of the Synod, a telephone news-bulletin will be available:
- +39-06-698.19 for the ordinary daily Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office;
- +39-06-698.84051 for the Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops - morning session;
- +39-06-698.84877 for the Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops - afternoon session.


During the II Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, the Holy See Press Office will be open during the following hours, until 25 October 2009:- From Wednesday 14 October to Saturday 17 October: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday 18 October: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- From Monday 19 October to Saturday 24 October: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday 25 October: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The staff of the Information and Accreditation Desk (to the right of the entrance hall) will be available:
- Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Notice of any changes will be communicated as soon as possible and will be posted on the bulletin board in the Journalists’ Area of the Holy See Press Office, published in the Bulletin of the Commission for Information of the II Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops and in the Service Information area of the Internet site of the Holy See.


Return to:

- Index Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - II Ordinary Special Assembly for Africa - 2009
  [Plurilingual, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

- Index Holy See Press Office
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]