The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), and the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE), have expressed worry over what they describe as “increasing violence against Christians and misery caused by global injustice and bad governance,” in parts of the world.
According to the Bishops, escalating instability in the world, citing the growing conflicts in Africa, Europe and the Middle East is nothing to write home about.
The Bishops said this in a joint statement issued after a joint seminar which brought together representatives of Catholic bishops in Africa and in Europe to Kenya to discuss among others, issues concerning young people.
Part of the statement, issued in Nairobi, on January 25, 2024, signed by H.EM. Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, the President of SECAM, and H.E. Msgr. Gintaras Grušas, the President of CCEE, reads: “In the midst of these alarming challenges, our faith in the resurrected Lord remains unshaken. Christ is the one who brings us peace and hope, providing a beacon of light and certainty amidst the turmoil and uncertainty that characterize our times.”
The Bishops also acknowledged “the profound significance of the transformation of the Roman Curia and the entire Church as outlined in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Praedicate Evangelium'”, a transformative reform, guided by the Holy Father Pope Francis, that seeks to align the Catholic Church with the challenges of the 21st century.
This instrument of the Pope’s apostolate emphasizes a missionary conversion, fosters an ecclesiology of communion, and also incorporates the participation of the lay people, especially women, in Church governance. The reform also advocates for decentralization, enhanced collaboration with bishops, and addresses the diverse cultural and pastoral needs, especially relevant to Africa.
The meeting, held from 23-26 January, 2024 was under the theme, “Synodality: Africa and Europe Walking Together”, and will have a special focus “on listening to the voices of young people in both continents, recognizing their crucial role in shaping the future of the Church”