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- SECOND SPECIAL ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS - LINEAMENTA
SYNOD OF BISHOPS
SECOND SPECIAL ASSEMBLY OF AFRICAN BISHOPS
The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and
AFRICA AT THE DAWN OF THE 21st CENTURY
Even after 2000 years of Christianity there is still the need
to gather around the tomb of St. Peter to strengthen our faith.
We are still celebrating “synod of the resurrection, a
synod of hope”
1- Africa After the publication
of Ecclesia in Africa
1.1- Positive developments
Turmoil and sorrowful events still afflict Africa yet the same
continent is applauded as “the great hope of the church”
Pope Benedict XVI points out the signs of a rebirth of a fruitful
dynamic Christianity. Statistics of faithful Christians, priests,
religious and missionaries are increasing. Vibrant African liturgies,
living ecclesiastical communities, new dioceses, involvement
in social development and political arena are evident. There
is burning desire for peace, growing opposition to corruption,
deep need to promote the African woman, human rights, are good
1.2- Negative developments
Widespread deterioration in standards of living, poor education,
lack of essentials of health and social services, disease AIDS,
international debt, fratricidal wars, arms trafficking, refugees,
displaced persons, massacres, infant mortality, scarcity of
potable water, sheer poverty. Africa is like the traveller from
Jerusalem to Jericho who has fallen into the hands of robbers,
stripped naked, beaten and left for death. Africa needs a Good
Samaritan. What can we do to give a grimmer of hope on this
dangerous Africa’s social-economic political horizon?
1.3- Lineamenta intends to provoke us to raise questions so
as to search for solutions need to uplift Africa.
There is need to raise causes of hatred, injustice, and war
on the continent. We need solution to the suffering, dehumanising
and oppressive situation of the African people.
How can we achieve good administration of public affairs in
politics and economy? The source of funding and international
We have to underline: social political aspects, its tricks and
tensions; social cultural aspects with ethnicity thicker than
faith in God; cultural trends on production, labour, land and
Safeguard of African cultures, exported sense of corruption,
discrimination against women, brain drain, fleeing to the west
for greener pastures
3- Religions in service to reconciliation,
peace and justice in Africa
Dialogue with some Moslem communities and ATR, need of understanding
and collaboration between main stream religions and other small
We pray for faith everywhere in order to form only one Church
4 - Quo Vadis, Africa?
4.1 - Where are you going, Africa?
The questions about the perspective are under no.30.
-Who will support the drastic changes in conduct, which must
come about to change Africa’s destiny, so that reconciliation
will come in the midst of so much hatred and divisions, and
peace and justice will finally reign in Africa ?
-What is the work of imagination in plotting the path into the
-How should the Gospel be proclaimed in an Africa marked by
hatred, wars and injustices?
-How can we tackle the negative aspects of globalisation?
-How can the Church remain faithful to the Lord’s command
and contribute to the promotion of Reconciliation, Peace and
4.2 - Where do you stand, Africa?
The ‘Lineamenta’, before giving answers to the above
questions, “cannot fail to treat the causes of so much
hatred, injustice and war on the Continent”. (no.10) “In
the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Pope John Paul II judged
that the greatest challenge to achieving justice and peace in
Africa consisted in a good administration of public affairs
in the two interrelated areas of politics and economy. The suffering
of the African peoples is linked, to a great extent, to the
administration of these two areas as well as that of culture.
The following lines are an invitation to the local Churches
of Africa to meditate on these three dimensions: socio-political,
socio-economic and socio-cultural, and make suggestions on how
to remedy situations through reconciliation, justice and peace”.
As stated above (1.2) and said in no.91 of the “Lineamenta”,
the ecclesial communities, especially the laity, are called
to undertake, today, a special apostolate dealing with the real
problems of reconciliation, justice and peace, and gradually
work out solutions to these problems, (as indicated above) …”The
laity are invited to be attentive to the gifts of the Spirit
who inspires and prompts new initiatives in his Churches which
are incarnated in the world’s realities to face the great
contemporary challenges.” (No. 91)