Transition from “denouncing” to “announcing” Proposed for Extraordinary Missionary Month

A reflection proposing the shift from focusing on denouncing to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ

As Catholics across the world continue to live the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 (EMMOCT2019) by taking the gospel to the periphery, an African missionary priest is reflecting about the gospel and proposing a shift from “denouncing” to “announcing”, the latter taking the form of proclaiming the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“We live in an African society plagued by so many evils that denouncing has become a normal act. The fact of not denouncing is a rather abnormal,” Fr. Donald Zagore of the Society of African Missions (SMA) has stated in a reflection shared with ACI Africa.

The culture of perennially denouncing, Fr. Zagore thinks, turns the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is essentially good news, into some drama of sorts that seems to border more on destructive than constructive evangelization.

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a social satire,” the Ivorian missionary in the West African nation of Togo has stated in his reflection and called for a shift from what seems a negative missionary approach to positive strategies of spreading the word of God.

“An awareness of this drama is fundamental to a renewal of missionary activity to make it more productive,” Fr. Zagore has reflected and clarified, “Even before beginning to denounce faults, to denounce errors, we must first announce and proclaim Jesus Christ and his gospel of love.”


He has referred to the tendency to turn the Gospel into a social satire as being among the “great dangers” facing missionary work in Africa, as it shifts the focus of evangelization from “announcing, proclaiming, shouting and singing Jesus Christ and the truth of his gospel” to “denouncing injustice, error, being (haunted) by sin.”

Fr. Zagore has metaphorically described the tendency to lean toward denouncing in what seems satirical approach to life issues as “too much attention (being) given to the weeds, putting in the background the good seed, the true, Jesus Christ” when the Gospel of Christ is primarily “a call of love.”

“It is first and foremost a language of love,” Fr. Zagore has reiterated and added, “Indeed, to paraphrase the Muslim theologian Ahmed Abbadi, we can also say that the gospel of Jesus Christ is 96% of love and 4% of rules.”

“Let us not be mainly missionaries of the denunciation, but let us remain basically missionaries of the announcement,” the Ivorian missionary has concluded.