For Humanity’s Recovery amid COVID-19, Family “central, decisive”: Bishop in Cape Verde

Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes of Cape Verde's Mindelo Diocese.

A Bishop in Cape Verde has underscored the central place the family has in the process of recovering from COVID-19 challenges.

In a Pastoral Letter circulated over the weekend, the Local Ordinary of Cape Verde’s Mindelo Diocese, Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes appeals for a renewed spirit of solidarity among the people of God in the Central Atlantic Ocean Island nation.

“Now more than ever, with the present situation in which we live due to the pandemic that has destabilized everything and at the same time is crying out for a new order, the family – the domestic Church – is called to occupy its central and decisive place for the recovery of humanity in our hearts,” Bishop dos Santos says in his pastoral letter circulated October 10.

He adds, “Families are called to a primary and indispensable educational mission, since they are the first place where they live and transmit the values of love and fraternity.”

“Humanity in the sense of recovering the most genuine values which the Creator has sown in our hearts from all men and women: love, truth, justice, solidarity, respect; humanity also in the sense of bringing about a new humanity, a new way of living in society,” the Bishop further says.


In his Pastoral Letter titled, “Recover Humanity in the Heart of Man: Education for the values of communion and solidarity,” he advises, “We need to unite and reinvent solidarity if we do not want to sink.”

He makes reference to Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, appealing for renewed solidarity among humanity.

“I ardently hope that in this time that we have to live, recognizing the dignity of every human person, we will be able to bring about a rebirth, among all of us, of a worldwide yearning for brotherhood... No one can face life in isolation...; we need a community that supports us, that helps us and within which we help each other to look forward.”

Bishop dos Santos adds, “Let us dream as one single humanity, as walkers of the same human flesh, as children of this same land that shelters us all, each with the richness of his faith or of his convictions, each with his own voice, but all brothers,”.

The 55-year-old Prelate further says that “our parish catechesis and our schools must be aware of the noble task of educating for values of freedom, mutual respect and solidarity.”

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“We continue to propose to young people that they assume responsibility in society and try to live with others in a constant attitude of self-giving, of fraternal, generous and merciful love,” he says.

In the pastoral letter, the Church leader encourages the people of God not to despair because “our Christian hope and the anointing we have received from the love of Christ are strong enough to heal troubled hearts and to overcome the dissonant moments of our history.”

He also invites the faithful in the Island nation “to trust in the Lord, our hope, and to walk together in discovering the humanity that dwells within us and in promoting the joy of solidarity.”

“May Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, Health of the Sick and a caring Mother, accompany us with her tenderness and inspire us to live confidently,” the Prelate implores in conclusion.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.