Scheduled SECAM Plenary Assembly to “prepare draft of African Synod Document”: Official

Credit: SECAM

The Plenary Assembly of members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) scheduled to take place during the first week of March is to “prepare the draft of the African Synod Document”.

In a Monday, February 27 press release, SECAM leadership informs the people of God on the continent of the “gathering of delegates from across the continent and its islands for a Continental Synod Assembly which takes place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from the 1st to 6th March 2023.”

“The Continental Assembly is a continuation of the Two Working Sessions held in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya to prepare the draft of the African Synod Document,” SECAM leadership says in reference to working sessions held in December 2022 and January 2023.

In the press release signed by the Secretary General of SECAM, Fr. Rafael Simbine Junior, the leadership of the continental Symposium shares the objectives of the scheduled Plenary Assembly.

“The Assembly, which is guided by the Synod’s call to the Universal Church to communion, mission and participation aims at engaging the delegates from the Church in Africa,” SECAM leadership says.


The Document for the Continental Stage (DCS), which was sent to the Universal Church by the General Secretariat of the Synod in October 2022, is meant to enable the people of God “to continue with the dialogue and discernment process on the pastoral issues that were captured in the Working Document for the Continental Stage (DCS), a synthesis of the reports that the universal Church submitted to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome.” 

SECAM leadership further says that participants in the scheduled Plenary Assembly “shall re-look at the issues that have emerged in the DCS, share their experiences and identify what strongly resonates with the lived experiences of the Church in Africa.”

“By the end of the Continental Assembly, SECAM shall be in a position to give the contribution of the Church in Africa to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome, which is in the process of drafting a working document,” SECAM leadership says in the February 27 Press Release.

It is noted that the “contribution of the Church in Africa following this Continental Assembly is key for the first Session of the Synodal Assembly, which is scheduled for October 2023 in Rome.”

About 200 persons are expected to participate in the Plenary Assembly, including “Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, consecrated men and women, lay people (men, women and the youth), seminarians, novices and representatives of other faiths,” the Press Release indicates.

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Lay people participating in the Assembly will be represented by 44 adults, 36 young people, five Novices, and five Seminarians.

Others will include 32 Priests, 10 women Religious, six men Religious, as well as 13 Bishops and 10 Cardinals.

Technical personnel will be represented by four members of the African Synodality Initiative (ASI) and 11 journalists from Catholic media and communications agencies.

Four delegates from other faith groups represented by a Muslim from Algeria, a traditional healer from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a Presbyterian from Ghana, and a Copt from Ethiopia are also expected to participate in the Plenary Assembly.

In the February 27 Press Release, SECAM leadership appeals “for the collaboration of Catholic media in all regions during the assembly to ensure that the people of God are kept abreast of what is happening, especially the experience of their delegates during the Assembly.”


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.