The President of SECAM, Cardinal Ouédraogo, urges the Church in Africa to side with those who are suffering.

The president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) called on the Justice and Peace commissions to do even more for those who suffer and are excluded from society.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican City.

In his New Year’s message 2022, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo Nakellentuba, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in his capacity as President of SECAM, said that the African Church must be on the side of those who are suffering.

May solidarity prevail

The Cardinal encouraged the diocesan Justice and Peace and Caritas Commissions “to raise public awareness of social justice and to defend human rights on our continent”.

“Dear sons and daughters of the African continent and the islands, at the start of this year, I would like to wish you health, happiness and prosperity. For 2022, I wish our Continent a good economic recovery, freed from the debts that are strangling it… May solidarity be set in motion in certain countries where famine is rife so that this problem can be eradicated ”, declared Cardinal Ouédraogo.

Peace is the result of a shared commitment

Speaking to people devastated by the health and economic effects of Covid-19 as well as victims of senseless violence that has resulted in refugees and internal displacement on the continent, the cardinal prayed for true peace.

“I am thinking of the refugees and displaced persons, victims of fratricidal wars and terrorism, entrusting their fate to God so that a solution can be found to allow them to emerge from the darkness and the shadow of death. The Lord does not abandon his people; he sends us his Son, whose birthday we celebrated at Christmas, to save us and bring us peace because he is the Prince of peace, ”declared the metropolitan archbishop of Ouagadougou.

Referring to Pope Francis, the cardinal said: “Peace is both a gift from above and the fruit of a shared commitment. He called on all Christians in Africa to build bridges of brotherhood, leading to the realization of a culture of brotherhood and sisterhood.

An African Church committed to Synodality

According to Pope Francis, “synodality is a style, it is a walk together, and this is what the Lord expects from the Church of the third millennium”.

16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod bishops, commonly called the synod on synodality will take place in October 2023 under the theme, For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission. The opening of the synodal process took place from October 9-10, 2021. Therefore, this worldwide consultation regarding synodality is currently underway in the Church.

For his part, Cardinal Ouédraogo invites the African Church to stay the course of the synod on the consultation of synodality.

“May the light of Christ dispel the darkness of our doubts and enlighten us in our walk towards synodality in our Church, that is to say the Church-Family of God at the service of the poor and excluded from society and always ready to say the word of encouragement to those who suffer ”, declared Cardinal Ouédraogo.

Jerry B. Hatch