African and European bishops seek solutions, co-operation strategies
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- More than 100 bishops from the Europe and Africa met outside Rome last week to tackle the problems facing Christianity in Europe and the suffering of the people in Africa.

The gathering of prelates from 32 African countries and 30 European nations Nov. 10-13 was the largest gathering of its kind, reported ACN News.

The four-day symposium, called Communion and Solidarity, was also attended by leaders of aid organizations, such as Aid to the Church in Need, Catholic Action for Overseas Development Caritas, Misereor and Missio.

Speakers underlined the gravity of the problems on both continents. Citing statistics showing that Africa's Gross Domestic Product represented barely two percent of the world total, Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, said sometimes his continent fears that "if Africa disappeared, the rest of the world would not notice."

Militant Islam emerged as a key concern for the African bishops, who reported on the in-roads the religion was making from traditional strong ground in the north of the continent into more central African countries.

Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako, archbishop of Khartoum, Sudan, urged the conference to realize "the dangers of Islam." Reporting on how Sudan's faithful had "foiled" the authorities' plan to make the country totally Islamic by 2000, he said: "We are playing the problem of Islam too cool in the name of dialogue. In Africa, there are many evangelistic forces but Islam is the most active. Collaboration with these Muslims is very difficult."

Andrys Cardinal Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania, said secularism in Europe was causing a decline in faith even in former communist countries, where Christianity had been so strong.

The archbishop and other speakers from the West targeted the mass media for creating a society deprived of values, obsessed with wealth and power, all of which were damaging the family.

The symposium, held at the Salesians' general headquarters, examined practical initiatives to encourage co-operation. Among them, were ideas to "twin" an African diocese with a European equivalent, which would facilitate co-operation between priests and religious in the seminaries, and practical help, such as sending second-hand computers to Africa.

Others included public awareness initiatives to raise the profile of Africa's problems. The African bishops no longer want the country to be typecast as poverty-stricken but as people searching for social justice and self-sufficiency.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30