Lome, 22 November, 2019 / 12:50 am (ACI Africa).
A Bishop from the West African country of Togo has faulted the justice system institutionalized by many nations in Africa describing it as “suffering justice” and proposed a legal system that is oriented toward social cohesion, “transformed by mercy.”
“I would like to propose to Africa a justice of surpassing oneself, which can be transformed by mercy, but through stages which, in view of the situation on the continent, seem particularly important,” Bishop Nicodème Anani Barrigah-Benissan of Togo’s Atakpamé diocese told ACI Africa in an interview Wednesday, November 20 shortly after reflecting with delegates of the Pan-African Congress on Divine Mercy in Burkina Faso.
Having reflected with the Congress delegates on the theme “Africa trapped in its suffering justice,” Bishop Barrigah told ACI Africa that the legal system in Africa “must essentially be free justice, committed to the law, concerned with equity, oriented towards social cohesion and, naturally, transformed by mercy, as the Post-Synodal Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI ‘Africae Munus’ has clearly shown.”
In his considered opinion based on his experience as an African Church leader, justice can only truly permeate the lives of the people of God on the continent “if it is transformed by mercy, animated by the love of God that leads to surpassing oneself.”
The justice system in Africa should be focused on “social cohesion and social justice must be at the heart of our pastoral life,” the 56-year-old Togolese Prelate said.