Keywords at the Africa Synod

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2009 ( As might be expected, “peace” has been the most often repeated word at the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops — it has been voiced 402 times.

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The theme of the synod, under way in Rome through Oct. 25, is “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’ (Matthew 5:13-14).”

So it is also not surprising that “justice” has been mentioned 345 times, although “Christ” has been mentioned more — 346 times, with the name of “Jesus” being used another 119 times.

The word “war” has been used 158 times, meaning it has been mentioned more often than “love,” with 122 references. “Violence,” however, with its 40 mentions, lost to “hope,” which has been used 57 times.

The importance of “dialogue” is affirmed with its 85 mentions, as is that of “education,” with 76 references. “Children” have been referred to 60 times, four of those with references to “child soldiers.”

“Pope” is a term that has been used 65 times, with explicit reference to “Benedict XVI” on 39 occasions.

The theme of “women” has been taken into consideration 20 times, while “economy” has come up 14 times and “Islam,” 33.

And among themes that are of concern in Africa, “AIDS” has been mentioned 27 times; “exorcism,” 12; “prostitution” and “traditional religions,” six; and “prison,” three.

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