“At this time of crisis linked to the coronavirus, the family today becomes the sacred place par excellence, where to welcome and live the mystery of God. Christ was incarnated in a family, making the Holy Family the first domestic church”. This is what Ivorian theologian, Father Donald Zagore, of the Society for African Missions stated in a note sent to Agenzia Fides.
“The African pastoral model today – explains the missionary – remains that linked to the basic ecclesial communities, born from the impossibility of Christians in Latin America to meet normally, in traditional structures for divine worship (parishes, cathedrals, basilicas) due to the persecution of Christians by political powers. Traditional Christianity, with its structures, had turned into a kind of Christianity without churches”.
Bringing the situation back to today Fr. Zagore underlines how: “With the confinement of people in their homes, a return to the ecclesiological model of the family as a ‘domestic church’ is more than necessary. If already in Europe with the crisis of faith, churches, cathedrals, and basilicas were empty, today they are completely closed. This ecclesiological model developed by the Fathers of the Church, such as Giovanni Crisostomo, and taken up forcefully by the Second Vatican Council and in particular by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, finds its roots in the mystery of the Incarnation itself “.
“The Covid-19 tragedy must bring us closer to each other. Humanity will win this fight only by involving itself in a strong dynamic of solidarity between scientific research, material and spiritual support”, continues Zagore. “The isolation measures established by governments, which include, among others, the closing of borders, must remain strictly preventive medical measures, – underlines the missionary – and must not become paths that favor exclusion, stigma. The Covid-19 pandemic must not become a territory in which living together involves the sacrifice of identity, social fractures, an increasingly exclusive nationalism. Today, we must remain focused on the essence of the problem, which essentially consists in working and praying for a solution that can save our humanity from this tragedy. In the name of our faith, evil cannot have the last word in people’s lives. God is stronger”.
At the conclusion of his reflection, the theologian reiterates: “The ecclesiological model of the family as a domestic church remains fundamental for a Christianity without a church. A family built on rock, on Christ is a precious gift for the universal church and for all humanity. Everything must be rebuilt according to the very principle of the family”.