(File) Burkina Faso and Niger Bishops in a plenary assembly. (File) Burkina Faso and Niger Bishops in a plenary assembly. 

Burkina-Niger: Bishops conclude plenary assembly.

The Bishops' Conference of Burkina-Faso and Niger met in the ecclesiastical province of Bobo-Dioulasso, in Dédougou, for the Second Ordinary Plenary Assembly that began on 14 and ended on 20 February.

Christian Kombe, SJ - Vatican City

For a week, the Bishops were in Dédougou, Burkina Faso.

The Assembly began with a Day of Recollection on Tuesday, 15 February, preached by the Rector of the major seminary of Koumi, Father Honoré Ouédraogo. The reflection was based on  the Instruction of the Congregation for the Clergy "The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church."

The work of this Plenary Assembly was devoted in particular to pastoral issues within the local churches of the two countries.

Security and socio-economic concerns

In a press release issued at the end of the meeting, the Bishops of Burkina-Niger expressed their "concern about the security situation and the rise in food prices" in both countries. The Bishops further called on "diocesan and parish communities to continue their compassion and solidarity with all displaced people without distinction."

The prelates then urged the faithful of both countries to pray fervently for their countries currently undergoing numerous challenges.

Bishops engaged in dialogue for peace

During their Plenary Assembly, the Bishops met with leaders of the Muslim community, regional military and paramilitary authorities in a joint search for lasting peace.

The working session of the Bishops of Burkina-Niger took place under a complex security situation and massive displacement of persons. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), "In Burkina Faso alone, the total number of internally displaced persons had risen to more than 1.5 million by the end of 2021. This is mainly due to the ongoing jihadist insurgency that is causing death and a large number of displaced persons.

Six out of ten displaced persons in the Sahel are now Burkinabe.

22 February 2022, 13:16