Paul Samasumo – Addis Ababa
The Holy See’s Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on Sunday evening challenged Bishops of the AMECEA region to strengthen solidarity among themselves, shun complacency and embrace renewal.
AMECEA should heed Pope Francis’ call for ecclesial renewal
“I call on AMECEA to reassess its structures in compliance with Pope Francis’ call for ecclesial renewal, which cannot be deferred. I think you would do well also to reassess the operational structures and effectiveness of the Association –reviewing its modus operandi in order to make sure it is delivering the desired service,” Archbishop Rugambwa said.
Pope Paul VI’s message to Africa, ‘Africae Terrarum,’ is still relevant
Archbishop Rugambwa further invoked the memory of Blessed Pope Paul VI who will be canonised saint this year, in October.
“Blessed Pope Paul VI is one of the Popes who manifested great love for Africa … AMECEA took shape under his pontificate. I wonder if this meeting would not be a fitting opportunity to revisit Pope Paul VI’s message to the Church in Africa, ‘Africae Terrarum?’” Archbishop Rugambwa exhorted.
According to the Archbishop, Blessed Pope Paul VI advocated for local ownership of development. He challenged the African Church to devise “ new ways of becoming missionaries to themselves.”
Solidarity entails sharing of resources and personnel
Still echoing the message of Blessed Paul VI, Archbishop Rugambwa said, “The Church in the AMECEA region should renew her awareness of the fact that her future no longer depends on missionaries or agents of human development from other continents.” Instead, he added, “Our continents’ future depends on Africans themselves.”
It is incumbent on the Church of AMECEA to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. To this effect, a renewed spirit of solidarity entails sharing of resources and personnel by the particular Churches.
Ethiopian Catholic Church praises relations with the Orthodox Church
Earlier officially opening the Plenary Assembly, AMECEA Chairman, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa paid glowing tribute to relations between the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and the Orthodox Church.
“As you know, the Catholic Church in Ethiopia is numerically a minority Church, which is about 1% of the total population, but it lives rich and deep gospel values shared together with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church which preserves the old Christian patrimony, tradition, spirituality, and culture. These patrimonies are shared by the Catholic Church too, ” Cardinal Berhaneyesus said.