Paul Samasumo – Vatican City
The A.C.E.A.C Bishops met in Kinshasa (DRC) at the Centre d’accueil Caritas, from 24 to 26 June 2019. All Bishops of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda are members of A.C.E.A.C.
Bishops feel close to victims of armed conflicts and Ebola
During their plenary, the Bishops focused on the socio-pastoral situation of the three A.C.E.A.C countries and expressed among other concerns their anxiety for the insecurity that continues to plague their countries, particularly around the border areas.
“This situation continues to claim many victims and is a cause of displacement and migration among our people,” says a statement made available to Vatican News.
Importance of accompanying politicians in the promotion of good governance
In the message the Bishops say, “We feel close to all the victims of violence, injustice and Ebola, and we entrust them to God in our prayers. We encourage policymakers to develop dialogue as a means of resolving conflicts,” the A.C.E.A.C Bishops state. They say they will also double-up efforts aimed at accompanying political actors in the region, encouraging them to promote good governance and the rule of law.
Bridging theory and practice in Catholic Social Teaching
Concerning social formation, the Bishops decided to do more in the area of Catholic Social Teaching. They plan to integrate Catholic Social Teaching in the training of future priests and recommend the development of more structured and systematic programmes in the priestly training.
“Our concern is to reduce the gap between the theoretical formation received during training and the practical needs that priests encounter in fulfilling their (pastoral) mission,” the Bishops said.
Other matters that the plenary assembly dealt with were to do with best practices in safeguarding minors against sexual abuse and issues arising from the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, “Christus vivit,” of Pope Francis.
At the end of the plenary, new office bearers for the association were elected.
The A.C.E.A.C President is Archbishop Marcel Madila Basanguka of Kananga in the DRC; the Bishop of Ruhengeri in Rwanda, Vincent Harolimana, was elected first Vice President while Bishop Bonaventure Nahimana of Rutana in Burundi is the Second Vice President.