The year of 2009 is shaping up to be one in which Africa is in the Vatican spotlight. Pope Benedict, besides traveling to the continent next month, announced on Saturday the leaders of a Synod of Bishops on Africa.
The synod, which is set to take place October 4-25 at the Vatican, will focus on the theme, "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. 'You are the salt of the earth, ... you are the light of the world.'"
This synod will be the Second Special Assembly for Africa. The first was held in 1994 and resulted in Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa.
The presidents delegate announced by Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 14 are: "Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Senegal, Dakar, and Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier O.F.M., archbishop of Durban, South Africa."
The relator general is Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, and the special secretaries are Archbishop Damiao Antonio Franklin of Luanda, Angola, and Bishop Edmond Djitangar of Sarh, Chad.