Working Document Ready for Africa Synod

Pope to Present It In Cameroon Next Month

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2009 ( The working document  for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops is ready, and Benedict XVI himself will deliver the text to the African episcopal conferences next month.

The Special Council for Africa and the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops approved the «instrumentum laboris» at meetings held Jan. 23-24, the Vatican press office reported today.
The Pope will present the document to the African episcopal conferences during his March 17-23 apostolic journey to Cameroon and Angola.
The Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops will be held Oct. 4-25 in the Vatican on the theme «The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace: You Are the Salt of the Earth; You Are the Light of the World.»
According to the Vatican note, the «instrumentum laboris» presents important aspects of the present ecclesial and social situation in Africa, «along with the challenges it must address.»

Moreover, the note continues, «the Church wishes to contribute, in keeping with its mission, to a harmonious development of man and woman, as well as of society.»
The «instrumentum laboris» is based on answers from the episcopal conferences of Africa to the lineamenta (guidelines) issued by the synod’s secretariat, which were published in 2006 in various languages, including Arabic and Swahili.
Pope John Paul II convoked the first synod for Africa in 1994, which was the basis for Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation «Ecclesia in Africa.»
The Vatican communiqué explained that the second synod hopes to promote the conclusions of the first, as well as «to give effective answers to an African continent thirsty for reconciliation and in search of justice and peace.»
The noted concluded: «The local and regional conflicts, the obvious injustice and violence, involve all men of good will and in a special way the Church.

«If it is true that in Jesus Christ we belong to the same family and share the same word and the same Bread of life, and if it is true that we are brothers in Christ, children of God and constitute in him only one family, then there should never again be injustice and wars between brothers.»

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