Following the success of the first World Cup in Africa, an internationally-active Catholic missions organization is imagining the possibility of the continent breaking new ground by hosting some major Catholic events.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup wrapped up on Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa with Spain prevailing over Holland by a score of 1-0 in the final.
The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) asked on its website, "So, now that Africa ... has shown it can organize a great international event, handling public order, why doesn't the Church also entrust the continent with the promotion of a great world appointment, something that until now has never happened?"
Through their www.missionline.org website, writer Gerolamo Fazzini proposed on behalf of the organization that Africa should be considered to host the next World Youth Day or the 2012 World Family Encounter.
Reasoning that the greatest percentage of youth in the Church and the greatest increase in the number of Christians can be found on the continent, he proposed that the "vitality" of African Catholics should be awarded. Fazzini called Africa "the natural candidate" for a continental conference with the "Church-family" as its focus.
"Besides being a sign of esteem, (which would be) politically important, the assignment of a great ecclesial event to Africa would also offer a concrete sign of a truly universal Church that bets on the poor and their resources. A sign of counter-trend, of which we have enormous need."