Synod on Synodality “great moment of ecclesial communion”: Catholic Bishops in CAR

Official logo of the Synod on Synodality. Credit: Vatican Media

The ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality offer an opportunity for “ecclesial communion” among the people of God in the Central African Republic (CAR),  Catholic Bishops in the country have said.

In a statement issued Sunday, January 15, members of the Central African Episcopal Conference (CECA) say the synodal process has helped the Church in CAR to seek a new beginning in Christ.

“The synodal process initiated by the Holy Father and placed under the sign of communion, participation and mission, is a time of grace and a great moment of ecclesial communion for the Church in CAR,” CECA members say in the shared with ACI Africa.

They add, “It is a question of forming ourselves more and more in synodality by promoting listening, dialogue, sharing of responsibility, mission and a better participation in ecclesial management.”

“In the spirit and dynamics of the synodality desired by Pope Francis, our Church has given a voice to all its components (Bishops, Priests, religious), to our Protestant and Muslim brothers and sisters, to the marginalized and neglected, and to our brothers and sisters who do not belong to any denomination,” Catholic Bishops in CAR say in reference to the Synodal process, which Pope Francis extended to 2024.  


In the Synodal process, “no one should be left behind”, CECA members further say, and add, “This test of truth, of self-criticism and evaluation, aims at making the Church's mission more effective by promoting more communion and participation.”

“It is more important than ever today to start afresh from Christ, to listen to him and to gather his teaching, he who is the only just one and the ultimate Judge of our being-Christian,” they say.

The Catholic Bishops in CAR note that the Church of Christ itself is not “immune to internal discord and conflict.”

“It is through love and unity that the Church can authentically witness to Christ,” CECA members say, and add, “Unity and communion, based on love, fraternity and the mutualization of forces and energies, allow us to generate creativity to build our Church and work for the recovery of our country.”

In their eight-page statement, Catholic Bishops in CAR speak to the theme of the Synod on Synodality, saying, “Communion and participation are called to become the true springboard for building our Church and our country together.”

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Communion and participation “require a disposition of heart, an attitude of mind and inner conversion” they say, and add, “In contrast to empty and pretentious speeches, they (communion and participation) impel us to concrete actions that bear witness to a renewed fraternity lived in sincerity.”

“Daughters and sons of the same country, our differences of opinion, beliefs, choices and political convictions should not make us enemies,” CECA members say in their message titled, “Communion and Participation for the Building of our Church and country” in which they also urge citizens to move away from friend-enemy antagonism.

They add, “We must get out of the logic that he who does not think like me is my enemy.”

“The radicalization of positions, against the background of a lack of dialogue, can only lead to a socio-political and economic impasse, seriously detrimental to our people and to peace,” the Catholic Church leaders say.

They continue, “Communion and participation in the work of rebuilding the country require freedom of expression, listening and mutual respect, empathy and conviviality. ‘


“A new Central African Republic where peace, justice and brotherhood reign is possible in Christ, the Prince of Peace, our Savior,” CECA members further say, and add, “The Church's mission is not only to announce the Kingdom, but also to work in synergy with the other components of society so that these promises become realities.”

They add, “Builders of hope and of a better future, it is by working hand in hand that Christians, in communion with all other citizens, can build a country where everyone finds their place.”

Building an accommodating country, CECA members say, requires that “certain fundamentals”, including “a basic education that promotes authentic values such as respect for the human person and the common good, equitable and non-selective justice that protects each citizen, and the protection and defense of the environment and the country's natural resources.”

“We pray to the Lord that justice and righteousness will triumph over injustice, that the search for unity and the pursuit of the common good will prevail over the spirit of division and the quest for the satisfaction of partisan and selfish interests,” Catholic Bishops in CAR say.

They add, “May we all commit ourselves so that the culture of peace and fraternity, that of reconciliation and forgiveness, definitively drives out the counterculture of hatred, war and death.”

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“As at the wedding in Cana, may the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for our Church and for the Central African Republic with her Son, Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace,” CECA members implore.

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.