Pontifical council to focus on evangelization and secularization in Africa
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.- African members of the Pontifical Council for Culture as well as bishops in charge of the pastoral care for cultures will convene in Bagamoyo, Tanzania for a meeting on July 23-26 to discuss evangelization and the impact of secularization in Africa.

The meeting, convened by Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will focus on the theme: “Pastoral Prospects for the New Evangelization in the Context of Globalization and its Effects on African Cultures.”  The meeting will form part of a series of initiatives designed to promote the “pastoral approach to culture in different parts of the world." 

According to a release about the event, the council will look at how “the Church strives to promote the inculturation of the faith along with a new Christian humanism which will allow men and women in Africa to be fully African and fully Christian.”

The final talk, “The Church, Family of God, Responding to the Challenges posed by Globalization's Diffusion of Cultural Models Foreign to African Cultures,” will be led by Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.

The meeting will take place at the Catholic Cultural Center, “Bagamoyo,” which is run by the Spiritan Fathers in Tanzania.  Bagamoyo was one of the major ports of the slave trade, where slaves were brought from Central and East Africa to be sent to the markets of Zanzibar.

"While choosing the theme," says the release, "the organizers have not overlooked the fact that secularization involves a modern form of slavery, neither less oppressive nor less damaging to the dignity of the human person.”

"The Church," the statement concluded, "is conscious of the fundamental cultural dimension of sustained development, indispensable for the future of the African continent. Therefore, particular weight will be given to the cultural values present in Africa which are at the service of the dignity of the human person."

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