Synod on Synodality Opportunity to “journey together in truth”: Catholic Bishops in Chad

Official logo of the Synod on Synodality. Credit: Vatican Media

The ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality offers an opportunity for the Catholic Church in Chad to “journey together in truth”, Catholic Bishops in the North-Central African nation have said.

In their Christmas 2022 Message shared with ACI Africa Monday, December 12, members of the Episcopal Conference of Chad (CET) say reflections on the theme, “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission”, has been at the center of many meetings in “all the Dioceses of our Church Family of God which is in Chad during the pastoral year 2021-2022.”

“Church and Synod are synonymous because the Church is none other than the journey together of the people of God on the paths of history to meet Christ the Lord,” CET members say.

They note that in the ongoing Synodal process, “many people have experienced, along the way, the joy of meeting as brothers and sisters in Christ, of sharing what listening to the Word has caused to resonate within them and of asking themselves about the future of the Church.”

For the Church to demonstrate more communion and participation, the Catholic Bishops say that the people of God “must work in synergy in all areas of its mission.”


“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.”

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“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.”


Making reference to the National Inclusive Dialogue (DNI), Catholic Bishops in Chad say that the initiative was intended to lay the groundwork for a new, solid, and democratic Chad in a frank and sincere debate.

Unfortunately, CET members lament, “the inclusive and sovereign nature of the dialogue was not respected. Moreover, the revision of the Transitional Charter did not live up to the expectations of the Chadian people.”

They underscore the need for Chadians to foster the tradition of standing by the truth, saying, “With the psalmist, we would like to invite you to move from the culture of lies to the culture of truth: ‘Lord, who will dwell in your tent? Who will dwell in your holy mountain? He who behaves perfectly, acts justly and speaks the truth from his heart. He restrains his tongue, does not wrong his brother, and does not insult his neighbor.’”

“In your search for the truth, the Lord does not leave you alone, for he has consecrated you in the truth,” CET members add in the Christmas 2022 Message shared with ACI Africa.

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.