2009-10-03 13:07:02

Africa Synod with 400 Participants Gathering in Rome

(October 03, 2009) The upcoming Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, the second of the kind, which begins Sunday, 4th of October in Rome, is gathering close to 400 participants from various continents and religions, with 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." The first was held in 1994. Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops said that the synod will be attended by 244 Synod fathers and will include 33 cardinals, 75 archbishops, 120 bishops, and eight religious chosen by the International Union of Superiors General. Separated according to office, the group of prelates includes 37 presidents of Episcopal conferences, 189 ordinary bishops, four coadjutors, two auxiliaries and eight retired archbishops. Also attending will be 25 heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as 14 African cardinals, and presidents of national and regional Episcopal conferences and international organizations. There will be 29 experts -- 19 men and 10 women -- and 49 auditors -- 29 men and 20 women. Three special guests, invited by Pope Benedict XVI, will also take part in the assembly: His Beatitude Abuna Paulos, patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia, Rudolf Adada, former head of the Joint United Nations/African Union Peacekeeping Mission for Darfur, and Jacques Diouf, of Muslim origin, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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