Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo Photo: Verdad en Libertad

Cardinal of Kinshasa asks all African episcopates to make common pronouncement on gay blessings

Letter from the President of the Symposium of Catholic Bishops of Africa and Madagascar to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar on the Declaration “Fiducia Suplicans”.

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(ZENIT News / Kinshasa, 12.21.2023).- After the reservations or open opposition from the Episcopal Conferences of Malawi, Zambia, and Nigeria, and with the addition of the Episcopal Conference of Ghana, the leader of all African episcopates, a cardinal in office appointed by Pope Francis, observes “the ambiguity of this statement” and urges all African episcopates to study the document and make a common pronouncement. We provide an unofficial English translation of the letter from the Archbishop of Kinshasa.

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Most Excellent Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences,

On December 18, 2024, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith published the Declaration “Fiducia Supplicans” on the pastoral significance of blessings, in which, among other things, the blessing of “same-sex couples” is mentioned. The ambiguity of this statement, susceptible to various interpretations and manipulations, is causing much perplexity among the faithful. I believe that as pastors of the Church in Africa, we must clearly express our views on this matter to provide clear guidance to our Christians.

Thus, within the context of the synodal process that the Church is currently undergoing, and with special reference to Chapter 19 of the “Synthesis of the First Session of the Synod on Synodality,” which emphasizes the crucial role of Episcopal Conferences and Continental Organizations in safeguarding the faith and culture of peoples, to avoid the risk of uniformity and centralism: “The first phase of the synodal process highlighted the decisive role of Episcopal Conferences and emphasized the need for a body of synodality and collegiality at the continental level. The working instances at these levels contribute to the exercise of synodality by respecting local realities and processes of inculturation. The Assembly is convinced that this could avoid the risk of uniformity and centralism in the governance of the Church” (Synthesis Report of the first session of the Synod on Synodality, Chapter 19, d), I address you, Excellencies, to request your opinion on the aforementioned Declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. This is in order to draft a single synodal statement valid for the entire Church in Africa.

Once the opinions of all Episcopal Conferences are received, SECAM will be able to issue a pastoral statement on the subject, serving as general guidance for all local Churches on our continent. To this end, I would appreciate it if you could send your opinions to the General Secretariat of SECAM before the beginning of the second half of January.

May the “Yes” of Mary, who deserved the gift of salvation for the whole world, teach us to welcome the Word of God, the Word made flesh, so that we too can bring salvation to the people of our time. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2024. Sincerely in Christ Jesus,

 

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo
Archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo
President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SICAM)

 

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