2010-07-28 14:47:24

Card Arinze: A self Reliant Church for a Self Reliant Africa

(28 Jul 10 – RV) On the second day of the plenary assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) Cardinal Frances Arinze has called for the Church in Africa to encourage the continent’s entrepreneurs to “make progress in their businesses”.

The Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is attending SECAM’s 40th session in Accra Ghana.

The Nigerian Cardinal says that the assembly is a wonderful opportunity to underscore the Churches Social Doctrine and how it proposes a way forward for Africa’s emergent middle classes.

Together with Church partners such as Caritas, CRS this year’s anniversary session in attended by 250 people including cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful from Africa and other parts of the world.

Together they will reflect on the theme : “Self-Reliance and the Way Forward for the Church in Africa".

Within the context of plenary assembly, Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele, apostolic nuncio to Ghana, will deliver a Message from Benedict XVI to the participants.

Cardinal Napier says many discussions focus on how to generate more confidence in the Church in Africa for self-reliance. At the same time he also stresses that an essential part of becoming self reliant is the need to generate economic independence: “Although as scripture goes ‘Blessed are the poor’ we need money to run our activities. Christ has not told us not to work hard. We need to instil this concept in our middle classes”.

This year's agenda includes a meeting of bishops on the central theme of the plenary and a round table discussion, as well as a renewal of their joint commitment to achieve the ideals of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.

The national and regional Episcopal conferences of Africa and other bodies affiliated to SECAM will present their evaluations on the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in the Vatican last October on the theme: "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace".

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