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SYNOD OF BISHOPS
SECOND SPECIAL ASSEMBLY OF AFRICAN BISHOPS
LINEAMANTA
The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace



CHAPTER I
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 signs.

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.

2- Priorities
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 market
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 capital;
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 faiths
We pray for faith everywhere in order to form only one Church in Christ.

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 future?
-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 Justice?”

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”. (no.10)
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)

 

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