Catholic Bishops in Senegal Urge Politicians to “dialogue in truth” Ahead of Elections

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops in Senegal have, in a collective statement, urged politicians in the West African nation to prioritize “dialogue in truth” for a peaceful legislative election scheduled for July 31.

In their collective statement shared with ACI Africa Monday, June 13, members of the Episcopal Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau say politicians “must not give in to provocation and violence.”

“As the legislative elections approach, we invite all the politicians and other stakeholders to prioritize dialogue in truth for a lasting peace and an integral human development,” the Catholic Bishops say in their message dated June 10.

They add, “We must not give in to violence and provocation during the electoral process.”

Making reference to the Pastoral Letter of 20 November 1994, the Catholic Bishops urge citizens of the West African nation “to build together a Senegal of Justice and Peace.”


Earlier this month, two Senegalese opposition coalitions, which have joined forces in preparation for the July polls, said they intend to be the majority in the parliament against President Macky Sall’s ruling party and prevent him from running for a third term.

Weeks ago, the Wallu Senegal (Save Senegal in Wolof) coalition led by former President Abdoulaye Wade concluded an alliance with Yewwi Askan Wi ("Let's free the people"), led by the embattled Ousmane Sonko.

The July 31 elections are meant to renew the 150 seats for members of parliament. The current Assembly is largely dominated by the President Sall's ruling coalition.

The July legislative elections follow local elections in March, won by the opposition in several major cities such as Dakar, Ziguinchor in the South, and Thies in the West. 

In the Catholic Bishops’ collective statement issued following their June 7-10 ordinary session, the Church leaders in Senegal also expressed concern about “the phenomenon of the resurgence of violence in the country, the political tension, the excesses noted on social media and the questions raised about homosexuality in recent times.”

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“We once again bow to the memory of the eleven babies who died accidentally a few weeks ago in the nursery of the Mame Abdou Aziz SY Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane,” Catholic Bishops in Senegal says, and add, “We pray that God will bring comfort and consolation to the grieving families.” 

Faced with the resurgence of violence, the Catholic Church leaders urge public authorities “to spare no effort to guarantee the security of people and property.” 

They also invite all citizens “to return to values, especially respect for human life, the promotion of the common good and peace.”

The Catholic Bishops reiterate the constant position of the Church on the subject of homosexuality saying, “We do not pass judgment on people. We are for the respect of the physical integrity of individuals.”

“We denounce any initiative to legalize homosexuality that is not in conformity with our traditional values, much less with our Christian religious beliefs,” they add.


The Catholic Bishops implore the Lord, Master of the times and seasons, “to grant our country and our sub-region abundant and beneficial rains, as well as good harvests.”

They exhort Senegalese, especially the youth, “to engage in agriculture, and invite the State Authorities to a good preparation of the agricultural campaign.”

“Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, Our Lady of the Deliverance of Poponguine, may God bless our country Senegal,” Catholic Bishops in the West African nation implore in their June 10 collective statement 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.