Nairobi, 26 October, 2022 / 9:25 pm (ACI Africa).
The envisioned dialogue between Pope Francis and young people from Catholic institutions of higher learning in Africa is not a moment to lament about the ills of the continent, but an opportunity to seek the Holy Father’s solidarity with the African youth in their daily struggles, an official at the planned Papal engagement has said.
Speaking to ACI Africa ahead of the Wednesday, October 26 rehearsal of the dialogue that has been slated for November 1, Fr. Emmanuel Bueya, the Project Lead at the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network (PACTPAN), which has organized the event, said that the engagement between Holy Father and the African students is also a moment for the students to form a network that will implement ideas to tackle the challenges that the continent is facing.
“Even though we face many challenges in Africa, our goal in this dialogue with Pope Francis is not to complain to the Holy Father. Of course, the students will share with him the situation of the continent, ask him to listen to specific challenges in various African countries, but most importantly, the goal will be to beg him to accompany the young people in their daily struggles in Africa,” Fr. Bueya said during the Monday, October 24 interview.
He added, “It is a moment for the university students in Africa to come together in the spirit of Synodality, to identify what’s ailing the continent and to come up with ideas to tackle the challenges they face, be it poverty and unemployment, issues of climate change, poor leadership, and so on.”
“The students will, hopefully, come up with real solutions. They have, so far, highlighted the need to create mentorship programs in the Catholic Church, and the possibility of bridging the gap between these professionals and the young Catholics who need career mentorship,” he further said.