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Bishops Seek to Change Africa’s Negative Brand

The Uganda Episcopal Conference Chairperson Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa, says that the Bishops under the umbrella Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar-SECAM will spend the next five days discussing challenges that are blocking the spread of the gospel of love, in the world.
22 Jul 2019 14:23
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Audio 3

Catholic Church Bishops from across Africa are meeting in Munyonyo to discuss and forge solutions to pressing issues faced by the Church on the continent. 

The Uganda Episcopal Conference Chairperson Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa, says that the Bishops under the umbrella Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar-SECAM will spend the next five days discussing challenges that are blocking the spread of the gospel of love, in the world. 

He pointed out human trafficking, exploitation, corruption, secularism and xenophobia, among others, which he says have not only given Africa a negative brand, but has also affected evangelism.   

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Similarly, SECAM president His Grace Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi, from Angola, stressed the need for the symposium to remain focused and move forward in mind of the vision of the founding fathers of the continental forum amid opposing forces in form of challenges.   

Archbishop Mbilingi says although some of the challenges may not be addressed even in the next 50 years, there is a need for the prelates, the religious and faithful to remain dedicated and firm in the faith. 

His speech was translated from Portuguese to English 

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Archbishop Mbilingi also dared the youth in Africa who now make the biggest percentage of the population to move from their comfort and participate actively in serving the Church.  

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The symposium has brought together representatives from the Vatican, eight Cardinals, 45 Archbishops and 100 bishops, 50 priests 10 representatives of Religious congregation and 40 lay faithful and other dignitaries from the length and breadth of the World.  

Besides the challenges, the prelates are expected to deliberate on how far the Church in Africa has come in its evangelizing mission as look forward to what the next fifty years.

SECAM at a glance 

Founded in 1969, SECAM is a continental forum that brings together African Catholic Church leaders to share how best the mission of evangelization should be better done in Africa. The forum operates through two major commissions; the Commission for Evangelization and the Justice Peace and Development Commission. They have since established a Pan-African Episcopal Committee for social communication.  

It’s through this symposium that the Catholic Church in Africa supports a number of activities including but not limited to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, support to missionary and evangelization, promotion of faith,  culture and integral human development, among others.   

The symposium was recently awarded an observer status in the African Union as one of the ways for the prelate’s voices and thoughts be shared with the political leaders towards a common goal of developing Africa.