“This year was characterized by events that stimulate our Churches to work for Islamic-Christian brotherhood”, write the members of the Conference of Bishops of the North Africa Region (CERNA) in the final document of their Assembly held in Rome at the end of September.
The message, sent to Fides News Agency in particular mentions the beatification of Bishop Pierre Claverie on December 8, 2018 and his eighteen companions and martyrs (see Fides, 10/12/2018) that “allowed all Christians and Muslims gathered for the occasion to “draw in the Algerian sky a great sign of brotherhood addressed to the whole world” according to the words of the Holy Father addressed to the meeting of the assembly of Oran”.
“The document on human fraternity signed on 4 February in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the great Imam of al-Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb also appears to us as a very encouraging sign that leads us to adopt “the culture of dialogue as a path, the joint collaboration as conduct and mutual knowledge as a method and criterion”, underline the Bishops of CERNA.
Then comes the visit of Pope Francis to Morocco on 30 and 31 March. “The reception that Pope Francis received from the people, and the Christian communities and the words exchanged encourage us in our mission”.
Finally “the choice of Archbishop Cristóbal Lopez Romero, Archbishop of Rabat, as Cardinal, also encourages us to better share the way we live the joy of the Gospel, especially in interreligious dialogue and in the accompaniment of the most fragile people”.
The Bishops of the North of Africa invite people to pray “for our countries and in particular Libya whose bishop was not able to join us” and declare that they want to “commit ourselves more as a Church, in collaboration with Muslims, in common service for the frail and the poor”.
“Our Countries are marked by the presence of migrants that remind us of the great economic, climatic and political upheavals of our world”, the message underlines. “We are convinced that the fight against these upheavals is the only effective way to allow everyone to choose to live in the land of their ancestors. In our Countries today, we want to support those who are experiencing the suffering of migration”.