The rest of the world is mourning the passing on of Fr. Robert (Bob) Astorino who “married media professionalism” for the Church in Asia, founding the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) and serving as its Executive Director for 30 years.
In view of the planned 6th Summit of African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) leaders in October, Bishops in Africa and Europe have, in a joint statement, encouraged European and African policy-makers to orient their preparatory work on the principles that foster “people-centered” partnerships.
Bishops in Africa through their common forum, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) have expressed concerns about the challenge COVID-19 pandemic poses for the people of God and institutions on the continent and appealed for individual and collective responsibilities from various stakeholders on the continent and beyond in the fight against the disease.
The President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo, who has recovered from COVID-19 after days of care at a hospital in his country, Burkina Faso, is observing “a period of rest” outside his official residence.
The people of God in Africa and their leadership have a lot to offer to the global Catholicism including testimonies about the growth and progress of Gospel values among believers. However, the Church on the continent faces the challenge of telling its stories within and across the globe, the Bishop coordinating the communication commissions of the episcopal conferences in Africa told ACI Africa in an interview last week.
Catholic Bishops in Ghana have, in a collective goodwill message, lauded Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Emeritus of Kumasi in Southern Ghana for his contribution to the growth of the Church in the West African country during the Cleric’s close-to 40 years in office.
In a bid to mitigate the “series of challenges” that the people of God on the African continent face today, the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has, in an interview with ACI Africa, noted that “in-depth evangelization” is necessary.
In the fight against various insurgents operating in Nigeria, industrialized nations where weapons used by rebel movements are manufactured need “to look inwards” and review their role in fostering insecurity, a Bishop in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria told ACI Africa in an interview.
The worrying trend of the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, with some nine African countries affected is a matter of concern for those at the helm of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) who have, in a collective statement, expressed concern and formulated a prayer in the face of “this strange epidemic.”
As the crisis in the Sahel region deepens, with reports of recurrent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Chad, the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has told ACI Africa that interreligious dialogue is quite significant in resolving the conflict and called on the West to stop arms trade on the continent.
As South Africa struggles to curb alarming rates of gender-based killings targeting women and girls, a Bishop in the country has, in an interview with ACI Africa, highlighted the need to identify the root cause of violence targeting women for an appropriate way out of the societal challenge.
The challenge of natural disasters in the Ecclesiastical territories within Southern Africa and how to deal with them and having financial resources are among the deliberations of the ongoing six-day workshop in Pretoria, South Africa, involving the coordinators of Caritas Southern Africa, with participants having come from Botswana, Eswatini, South Africa, as well as Namibia.
At the Episcopal ordination of the Ugandan-born Monsignor Joseph Kizito, as Bishop of South Africa’s diocese of Aliwal North Saturday, February 15, being attentive to “erroneous ways of worship” in modern-day South Africa was a key highlight, the newly ordained Bishop advised to seek ways to address “weak worship” in his new Ecclesiastical territory.
At the two-day Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) that concluded Monday, February 10, the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Philippe Cardinal Nakellentuba Ouédraogo highlighted some of the challenges bedeviling the people of God on the continent and, in his prayer, implored God for forgiveness and the renewal of hope.
Ten years after the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace” during which Church leaders on the continent deliberated on, among other themes, transforming “theology into pastoral care,” a four-day Pan-African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society and Pastoral Life is set to take place in Enugu, Nigeria, under the theme, “What must we do to perform the works of God.”
As the fifth session of the Open-Ended Inter-Governmental Working Group (OEIGWG) on Transnational Corporations gets underway in Geneva, Switzerland with the aim of developing an international protocol to guide the operations of Trans-National Companies (TNCs), Catholic Bishops in the world’s second largest continent are calling on governments and the international community to ensure that TNCs respect human rights.
The challenge of xenophobia in Africa can be overcome by identifying and addressing the root causes of the menace that has affected the peaceful coexistence of people of the same race, an official of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) said recently in South Africa.
When the dust around xenophobia mainly in South Africa seems to be settling amid high level interventions, members of the Standing Committee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) have added their voice to those of the regional bodies of Bishops’ conferences, condemning xenophobic violence and reprisal attacks and called on governments and political actors to end hatred on the African continent.
During the plenary assembly celebrating its golden jubilee, the leadership organization for bishops' conferences in Africa elected Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo of Ouagadougou as its president.