Let’s Foster “fraternal, friendly society”: Bishop to Catholic Journalists in Africa

Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo delivering his message to journalists participating in the World Catholic Association for Communication, SIGNIS Africa, training on ‘Effective and Efficient Reporting Migrants and Refugees". Credit: Nigeria Catholic Network

Catholic journalists in Africa will be of better service to migrants and refugees if they can invest their professional skills in fostering “a fraternal and friendly society” that is guided by a welcoming spirit, the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) has said. 

In his message to journalists participating in the ongoing training on “Effective and Efficient Reporting Migrants and Refugees” that the African region of the World Catholic Association for Communication, SIGNIS Africa, organized, Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo also urged the revival of sensitivity to the situation and needs of migrants and refugees. 

Decrying increased cases of migration from Africa, Bishop Badejo said, “Catholic Communicators in Africa must be of the general disposition to put their skills and technology as well as values at the disposal of the Church’s vision to mitigate the situation, engender a fraternal and friendly society and build a welcoming for all.”

Credit: Fr. Dieu-Donne Kofi Davor/SIGNIS Africa

“Church media in Africa must exploit all perspectives and dimensions that can help the Church to increase awareness, reawaken consciences and revive brotherly responsibility and sensitivity about migrants and refugees,” the Nigerian Catholic Bishop said in his Wednesday, July 12 message to Catholic journalists at St. Mary’s National Seminary, Ggaba, in Uganda’s Kampala Archdiocese.


The Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Oyo who was reflecting on the topic, “The Communicative Dimension of the Church’s Vision of Migrants and Refugees: An African Perspective”, underscored the need to address the “sad reality” of Africa’s vulnerable groups.

The topic “invites us to expose the Church’s vision on migrants and refugees and asks us to confront the often-sad reality of migrants and refugees of the African continent with the vast possibilities of our calling as communicators in the Church in Africa,” he said. 

Credit: Fr. Dieu-Donne Kofi Davor/SIGNIS Africa

The member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication since his appointment in December 2021 further said that while policies and actions across the globe seem not to pay keen attention to the plight of migrants and refugees, “the Church is not about to relent in her advocacy and work in favor of migrants and refugees anytime soon.” 

“The Catholic Church’s teaching on migrants and refugees establishes that all are obliged to welcome the stranger,” Bishop Badejo told Catholic journalists taking part in the July 10-16 event that SIGNIS Africa organized in partnership with the Africa Coordination of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide).

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Welcoming the stranger, he said, “is an opportunity to practice the commandment of love (Mark 12:29-31) and the work of mercy.”

The Catholic Church teaching also establishes that “all peoples have the right to live a dignified life in their homeland” as well as “the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families and to seek asylum,” the President of CEPACS said.

Participants attending the training that the African region of the World Catholic Association for Communication, SIGNIS Africa, organized in Kampala, Uganda. Credit: Fr. Dieu-Donne Kofi Davor/SIGNIS Africa

“Anyone whose life is threatened whether because of persecution, armed conflicts, natural disasters, or economic conditions or physical integrity has the right to support and protection,” he told the participants drawn from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as from France, Thailand, and the U.S.

Looking forward to the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be marked on September 24, Bishop Badejo said that the event will be an opportunity to “express support and concern for people who are forced to flee their homes, to encourage Catholics worldwide to remember and pray for those displaced by conflict and persecution and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.”


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.