The Letter was inspired by the multidimensional crisis that affected the country at the time, with visible effects on the economic, social, moral and religious levels through aggravated poverty, erosion of traditional values, the danger of a shift towards intolerance and fundamentalism, and an increased exclusion of minorities.
As a response to these challenges, the Catholic Bishops invited all Senegalese to “a true conversion of our social life; to be exemplary citizens, dedicated, at all levels to the promotion of the common good.”
They underscored the need for food self-sufficiency, local production, local consumption and the development of the internal market.
Addressing participants during the forum in Senegal's Diocese of Thies, Archbishop Ndiaye noted that the session is a “moment of reflection and exchange that seeks to strengthen the contribution of the Church to the construction of a Senegal of justice and peace following in the footsteps of our elder brother Bishops, more than 25 years ago.”
“We hope that this forum will give rise to a citizenship awareness for a better living together in communion and fraternity, respect and promotion of the common good,” the Local Ordinary of Dakar Archdiocese said.
Also speaking at the national forum, the Apostolic Nuncio in Senegal, Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach, noted that “the struggle for justice and participation in the transformation of the world appears to be a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, which is the mission of the Church for the redemption of humanity.”
“Thus, for three days, Bishops will examine current issues that affect the country in order to build together a Senegal of justice and peace,” Archbishop Banach said.
He added, “The challenges Senegal is facing today is not foreign to the dynamics of the Gospel which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, frees people from their personal sins and their consequences in social life.”
“Twenty-five years after this famous Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of Senegal, an analysis is needed to evaluate its impact on the society, and make recommendations for the future,” the representative of the Holy Father in Senegal further said.
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.
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