Cardinal Sepe Highlights Challenges in Mission Territories

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 7, 2004 ( A range of challenges, from interreligious dialogue to tribalism, await the 118 bishops recently appointed to countries that are the aegis of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

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Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Vatican dicastery, expressed that view Monday when opening a study seminar attended by French-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking bishops from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania.

“The aim of the seminar is to offer you time for prayer, reflection and study on the life and ministry of the bishop, which, especially in the first years, may meet with difficulties and problems,” the cardinal said.

“We have come together to reflect on the shared responsibility for the mission ‘ad gentes’ and the consequent commitment to serve the cause of the missionary Church,” he added.

Among the fields in which his congregation is particularly committed Cardinal Sepe mentioned missionary animation, formation in mission territories, enculturation of the Gospel, and interreligious dialogue, as well as helping to uproot nationalism, tribalism and the discrimination of caste systems.

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