Maputo, 16 November, 2019 / 1:05 am (ACI Africa).
Facilitators in the ongoing Plenary Assembly of the Bishops within the Southern Africa region of the continent have, over the last two days, guided the Church leaders drawn from six Bishops’ conferences across nine countries to deliberate on the need to ensure the safety of children within Church institutions and concrete steps towards care for God’s creation.
“The first day of the meeting was dedicated to a follow up on the last plenary session held in 2016 in Maseru (Lesotho) on “Laudato Si”,” reads in part a statement sent to ACI Africa Friday, November 15, referencing the five-day meeting of Interregional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) taking place in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo from Wednesday, November 13.
“It was an opportunity to listen to what each one of the six Bishops' conferences have been able to do and to identify other initiatives,” the statement continues, referring to the Harare-based regional conference of Bishops comprising the Episcopal conferences of Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Sao Tome and Principe and the Southern African Bishops’ Conference (Botswana, Eswatini, South Africa).
The sessions on the care of creation were facilitated by Mantopi Lebofa, who, according the statement sent to ACI Africa, spoke about her experience in Lesotho and “started by pointing out how inappropriate (it) was to be talking about this topic having so many plastic bottles of mineral water in front of us. She even made the bishops promise it won't happy again.”
There were two sessions dedicated to child safeguarding within Church institution.