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Catholic Bishops in Mozambique Laud Re-election of Colleague to SECAM Leadership

Bishop Lúcio Andrice Muandula, re-elected as the second Vice President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). Credit: ACI Africa

Catholic Bishops in Mozambique have lauded the re-election of Bishop Lúcio Andrice Muandula as the second Vice President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

In a Vatican News report, the President of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) said that the appointment the Local Ordinary of Mozambique’s Xai-Xai Diocese is a “sign of confidence and encouragement for the Church in Mozambique”.

“We feel honored to have one of our Bishops representing us at that level,” Archbishop Inácio Saúre  of has been quoted as saying in the August 8 report, adding that the mandate of Bishop Muandula in the leadership of SECAM “will see a more concrete and active representation of the Church in Mozambique in the Symposium.”

Bishop Muandula was re-elected the second Vice President of SECAM on July 30, the eve of the Eucharistic celebration to mark the conclusion of the 19th Plenary Assembly of the continental symposium held in Ghana’s capital city, Accra.

The Ghanaian Cardinal-designate, Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr, was elected SECAM President. 

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The Catholic Bishops who came from the eight regional associations elected Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo Besungu of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the first Vice President of SECAM.

The three members of SECAM’s Standing Committee represent the anglophone, francophone and lusophone regions of the continental symposium of Catholic Bishops in Africa. 

The eight regional associations of SECAM include the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC), the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa Region (ACERAC), and the Regional Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA/CERAO).

Other regional associations are the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Egypt (AHCE), the Regional Episcopal Conferences of North Africa (CERNA), Madagascar and Episcopal Conferences of Indian Ocean (CEDOI), and the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA).

In the Vatican News report published August 8, Archbishop Saúre said the re-election of his compatriot “reaffirms the trust” Catholic Bishops in Africa have in him, and added, “We congratulate Bishop Lúcio and we wish him well.”

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“We pray that together we can strengthen the Church in Mozambique”, the Mozambican member of the Institute of Consolata Missionaries (IMC) said.

“Together we can strengthen the family of God” in IMBISA, the Archbishop said in reference to the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa.

The Mozambican Archbishop went on to recall the deliberations of the delegations of the July 25 – August 1 Plenary Assembly of SECAM, saying the sessions addressed issues related to security and migration in Africa and its Islands, the Ownership of SECAM in the spirit of synodality.

“The Bishops were encouraged to put synodality into practice, that is the Pope’s theme for the next Synod of Bishops. The Bishops were also encouraged to walk together as an African Church in the midst of our diversities”, Archbishop Saúre said.

Archbishop Saúre added, “We are happy with the outcomes of the plenary. Bishops from the eight regional associations are quite happy to leave this context of synodality throughout the continent as one united Church.”

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SECAM, a fruit of African Bishops during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), has the mission “to promote the Church’s role as a sign and instrument of salvation and to build the Church as a Family of God in Africa by fostering communion, collaboration and joint action among all the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and the Islands through: Propagation of Faith, Human Development, Ecumenism, Formation, and Consultation.”

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.