African Institute to Form Political Leaders

Former IMF Director Supports Initiative

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KISANGANI, Congo, FEB. 4, 2005 ( The International African Institute, an initiative of the president of Congo’s episcopal conference, will dedicate itself to the formation of Catholics involved in social, political and economic life.

Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kisangani developed the project in response to John Paul II’s postsynodal apostolic exhortation «Ecclesia in Africa.»

«Christians who occupy posts of responsibility must be carefully prepared for their political, economic, and social activity with a solid formation in the Social Doctrine of the Church, so that they will be faithful witnesses of the Gospel in their realms of action,» says the document.

In a conference previous to the inauguration of the new institute, the archbishop expressed his hope that the institute will be a top school capable of forming leaders to combine ethics and politics in the management of public administration.

Michel Camdessus, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund and president of France’s Social Weeks, gave an address on «Christian Ethics and Public Life at the Dawn of the 21st Century.»

Camdessus highlighted the lack of values shared by the North and South, which affects development projects because, given the lack of common values, it is impossible to reach agreements on the objectives of such projects.

«What are the values that must be promoted?» he asked. «The dignity of the human person, fraternity, equality, freedom, respect for the common good and the universal destiny of the earth’s goods are the values that must be promoted,» he stressed.

«The institute promoted by Archbishop Monsengwo goes in this direction, because it hopes to create leaders whose political action will be permeated with the spirit of the Social Doctrine of the Church,» said Camdessus.

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