Walking Together “an emergency, an imperative necessity for the world”: Cardinal in CAR

Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga during Holy Mass organized to officially launch the new pastoral year of Bangui Archdiocese on October 2. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Walking together is an “emergency and an imperative necessity” for the people of God in the world as they participate in the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, the Cardinal in the Central African Republic (CAR) has said.

Addressing the people of God under his pastoral care during Holy Mass organized to officially launch the new pastoral year of Bangui Archdiocese on October 2, Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga said, “We must have faith to understand deeply that the call to walk together is the will of the Lord and that it is a path to salvation.”

“Walking together is today an emergency, an imperative necessity for the world,” Cardinal Nzapalainga said.

He went on to highlight some of the challenges that “walking together” entail, saying, “The obstacles to walking together are numerous and often seem insurmountable: the quest for power, hatred, violence in the name of ethnicity and religion.”

In spite of this gloomy picture that can lead to pessimism and despair, Cardinal Nzapalainga said, “The Lord reassures his people and gives them a glimpse of a future full of hope.”


“We are not alone in our walking together,” the Local Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Bangui in CAR said, and explained, “God himself walks with us through his Word, which he invites us to consult diligently, and God asks us to be just so that we can be salt and light in our communities, in our country.” 

The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) added, “Faithful to her prophetic vocation, the Church cannot be indifferent or silent before the suffering of the people. Fidelity in justice and fidelity to her vocation are pleasing to God and constitute eloquent witnesses.”

Reflecting on the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality in his Episcopal See, Cardinal Nzapalainga said, “Throughout the meetings that preceded the celebration of the Synod, we experienced a real time of grace and conviviality.”

“It was a great joy for us to share our knowledge and our testimonies, but also to be enriched by the experiences, the sharing and the messages of our Protestant and Muslim brothers,” the Cardinal who started his Episcopal Ministry in July 2012 as Archbishop of Bangui said.

He added, “God's call is addressed to all his children without distinction, without segregation, without contempt, without exclusion: it is a call to true happiness, one of the concrete expressions of which is the mission.”

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“In spite of suffering and various trials, God calls all his children to live together in joy, peace and brotherhood,” Cardinal Nzapalainga further said.

He underscored the significant of faith in human life, saying, “Without faith in God, a living and deep faith, our efforts and words risk being limited to the human dimension.”

“We would risk believing that the miracle of living together in diversity can come from the strength of our knowledge, our strategies and means, our capacities and merits,” the Cardinal said, adding that “without God, all our efforts lead to nothing; all our vocations lead to no happiness.”

The Catholic Church leader who was elevated to Cardinal in November 2016 further said, “Without God and without the light of the Gospel, culture has no meaning, and our works of inculturation risk not reaching the whole of humanity.”

“We must have faith to understand deeply that the call to walk together is the will of the Lord and that it is a path to salvation,” he said, and added, “Faith helps us to interpret the meaning of our Lord's death and resurrection as acts of reunification of scattered humanity and a call to work for unity.”


Cardinal Nzapalainga implored, “Let us ask the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Ubangi, the one who said yes and knew how to walk with the Lord in all the stages of her life, and St. Joseph, the patron saint of the Church, to walk with us and intercede for us, so that Jesus may strengthen our faith, our hope and our charity at the beginning of this pastoral year.”

“May the Spirit of love inspire us this year to concrete gestures and actions in favor of social cohesion, unity in diversity, concord and peace, now and forever, amen!” the Cardinal in CAR said during his October 2 homily.

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.