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Africa, the Bishops’ Conferences Symposium begins today: Church Gathers to Reflect and Choose

Addis Ababa from today and for five days will be the beating heart of the Church in Africa: it is in fact in Ethiopia that the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) will meet from 1 to 6 March 2023

Addis Ababa, the many topics addressed by the continental synodal assembly

The topics on the table are many, like the challenges that Africa is called upon to face: climate change and the migratory flows it brings about, the economic and political invasiveness of some extra-continental nations, the violence of some pseudo-religious components (just think of Boko Haram) and, we imagine, also the wave of repression and aggression that has been reserved for many months for Christian religious and believers.

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“The Continental Assembly – reads the document – is a continuation of the Two Working Sessions held in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya to prepare the draft of the African Synod Document.

The Assembly, which is guided by the Synod’s call to the Universal Church to communion, mission and participation, aims at engaging the delegates from the Church in Africa.

This is to enable them continue with the dialogue and discernment process on the pastoral issues that were captured in the Working Document for the Continental Stage (DCS), a synthesis of the reports that the universal Church submitted to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome.

The about 200 Delegates to gather in Addis Ababa are: cardinals, archbishops, bishops, consecrated men and women, lay people (men, women and the youth),seminarians, novices and representatives of other faiths.

They shall re-look at the issues that have emerged in the DCS, share their experiences and identify what strongly resonates with the lived experiences of the Church in Africa.

By the end of the Continental Assembly, SECAM shall be in a position to give the contribution of the Church in Africa to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome, which is in the process of drafting a working document.

Therefore, the contribution of the Church in Africa following this Continental Assembly is key for the first Session of the Synodal Assembly, which is scheduled for October 2023 in Rome”.

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