He urges the Laity, especially young people, to embrace leadership and “apply the values of the gospel to the economic, social and political sphere,” in order to bring about transformation on the continent.
The Vatican-based Cardinal underscores the need to address the issue of insecurity and immigration on the African continent.
He makes reference to instances of insecurity issues in Africa including attacks from Jihad terrorist groups and the recent attack in Mozambique that claimed the life of a Comboni Missionary Sister and says that such incidences erodes the confidence of the young people.
Cardinal Tagle says that the danger of insecurity and instability has led to the issue of brain drain especially among the youth in Africa, resulting in increased immigration.
He challenges political leaders in Africa and all related stakeholders to make African countries more attractive to their respective citizens so that the youth can envision their future from there rather than migrating to other nations in search for the so-called greener pastures.
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To foster change and transformation in Africa, Cardinal Tagle says that the Church in Africa needs to utilize religion and education to promote an integral growth of the human person.
He narrowed down to the Catholic Church and said that “Catholicism should be a transformative religion in Africa”.
Cardinal Tagle said that many efforts by the international or continental organizations to foster peace in Africa have always failed because of the “failure to respect God” in the attempts.
“Failure to respect God is also failure to respect the human person,” he says, adding that “People who are not at peace with God can hardly be at peace with one another.”
He underlines the value of formal education and advocates for the empowerment of the young people in Africa through quality education that is capable of responding to the concrete needs of the society.
“There is an urgent need to empower the youth so that they can take responsibility for themselves and for each other,” Cardinal Tagle says in his message ahead of the November 1 dialogue between Pope Francis and young people from Catholic institutions of higher learning in Africa.
Launched in 2020, the Synod on Synodality specifically stands out for involving people at the grassroots in the decision-making process of the Church, inviting all members of the Church and beyond to journey together as a community.
On November 1, young people drawn from various Catholic Universities in Africa are set to engage with Pope Francis in a dialogue that is aimed at stirring full participation of the youth in the synodal process.
As part of this process, Pope Francis has participated in a listening session with Catholic university students from Latin America and North America. Now, he plans to have a similar engagement with young people in Africa.
Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.