“The Synod is, therefore, an opportunity for lay people, Religious, Priests, and Bishops to discern new ways to journey together in truth and love,” the Catholic Church leaders in Chad say in their 37-point message dated December 9.
They go on to highlight some obstacles to journeying together in truth, saying, “We noted the lack of listening, the authoritarian tendencies in our Christian communities, the absence of consultation meetings, individualism, and the lack of commitment to the life of the Church.”
CET members add, “The failures of fraternal correction in our communities mean that the truth is told in half words for fear of reprisals.”
Despite a large number of women present and active in our communities, Catholic Bishops in Chad say, “The weight of tradition means that they are less listened to and have little place in decision-making bodies.”
In their collective Christmas 2022 Message titled, “Journey Together in Truth,” CET members further indicate that the most worrying shortcomings on the country are observed, “above all, among political actors and those in power.”
“For some thirty years, power has been confiscated and considered as spoils of war,” they say, adding that “all means are used to this end: manipulation of the truth, non-respect of the laws of the Republic, clientelism, buying of consciences, all to the detriment of the population which continues to languish in misery, to be victims of reprisals and killings.”
Instead of tackling the real problems, which include bad governance, injustice, inequality, and unemployment, Catholic Bishops in Chad say they find it regrettable that “the government prefers to hide from the truth by shifting the causes of the problems to ethnic, regional, and religious grounds.”
“We also see that some civil society groups are falling prey to corruption and greed. Instead of pursuing their original goals, they betray them and lose their autonomy of action by giving in to convenience,” they add.
Dialogue is the only path to journeying and living together, CET members say, and continue, “After the tragic death of President Idriss Deby Itno, dialogue was an opportunity to find solutions to the problems of the Chadian people.”
They further say, “This desire to go to dialogue expresses the goodwill of the sons and daughters of Chad to find an ideal framework to diagnose, in a climate of fraternity and mutual listening, all the ills that undermine their country and prevent its socio-economic, cultural and political development.”