2009-10-06 15:51:30

Patriarch Paulus of Orthodox Ethiopian Church tells Synod of African woes

(Oct. 06, 2009): “Africa has received from God many gifts and Ethiopia in particular is the cradle of mankind, but unfortunately today the African Continent lacks the basic necessities of food and drinkable water”, said Patriarch Abuna Paulus of the Orthodox Ethiopian Church. Addressing the 3rd congregation of the African synod in the Vatican on Tuesday morning, the Patriarch said Africa is potentially a wealthy continent with natural resources, among them precious minerals, and in the past it was colonized and exploited, but sadly even today, many remember Africa only when they need its resources. The Patriarch lamented that people have not supported the continent in its struggle for development.
The Patriarch said Africa is enchained by heavy global debts that both the current generation nor the future one can bear; the living standard of the African peoples is getting lower, the basic necessities of food and drinkable water are not available, and lack of education prevents youth from better opportunities to help the continent achieve development and prosperity.
Stating that the HIV/ AIDS pandemic is severely wounding Africa, and at the same time other diseases are threatening the continent, Patriarch Paulus called on the world to work in harmony to help the people. He also spoke strongly against civil wars, which he said are usually fought by child soldiers, although the international law clearly states that anyone under 18, cannot be a member of an armed group. He called on all religious leaders to defend the children and protect Africa’s rich natural resources. Patriarch Paulus hoped that ethical guidance and solutions will come through the October 4-25 Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa, the theme of which is “The Church in Africa at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace”.

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