While delivering the homily during mass held on Sunday at Uganda Martyr’s Shrines, Namungongo, the elected Vice President in charge of justice and peace Rt. Rev. Anthony Sithembele Sipuka, Bishop of Mthatha, South Africa, noted that there have been two extreme perceptions about Africa which need to be checked.
The week-long Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and
Madagascar-SECAM has come to an end with the church leaders looking out to
afro-realistic means of changing the continent.
The prelates convened in Uganda to mark SECAM’S golden jubilee and hold their
18th whose deliberations were to reflect on how far the Church in Africa has
come in its evangelizing mission and giving a direction on where it should be
in the next fifty years.
While delivering the homily during mass held on Sunday at Uganda Martyr’s
Shrines, Namungongo, the elected Vice President in charge of justice and peace
Rt. Rev. Anthony Sithembele Sipuka, Bishop of Mthatha, South Africa, noted that
there have been two extreme perceptions about Africa which need to be checked.
Bishop Sithembele notes that one of lookout is afro-optimism which shades a
romantic picture about Africa and another one being Afro-pessimism which
describes the black man’s continent with only negative features in form of war,
disease, corruption and poverty.
He, however, says as SECAM looks ahead to the next fifty years, the church in
Africa is to look at the continent in an Afro-realistic way in both religious
and secular spheres of influence by accepting the good, identifying the shortcomings.
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Bishop Sithembele says during the plenary the church leaders reflected on a
number of challenges that are facing humanity on the continent to which many
are caused by Africans themselves thus challenging each individual in his
capacity to look out for answers.
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The official communiqué from the plenary was read by His Eminence John cardinal
Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya.
The plenary passed resolutions on commitment towards reconciliation, Justice
and peace and pastoral solidarity which will enable the church in Africa stand
against ideological colonization, political and democratic destabilization and
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The church leaders also remained unshaken on monogamous
relationship between heterosexual persons to which marriages and family are
built to remain as the first place of evangelization.
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The communiqué also indicated that church is to increase its efforts in supporting
social-economic development through its agencies including Caritas among other
this time round with special attention to the continuous issue of migrants and
In the same development, SECAM will also put a special attention
to youth who make the highest population on the continent and women, who are
said to have shown extreme capacity in the field they have held like education.
Cardinal Njue noted that the forum’s secretariat will in few days pass out a
detailed document dubbed the ‘Kampala Document’ showing the several strategies
put in place to cause change in the highlighted areas.
The Catholic Church in Africa through SECAM supports a number of activities
including but not limited to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, support to
missionary and evangelisation, promotion of faith, culture and integral human
development, among others.