Rabat (Agenzia Fides) – April 20 to 24, Rabat (Morocco) will host the meeting of CERN (the Episcopal Conférence Régionale de l'Afrique du Nord), the North African Regional Bishops' Conference.
The meeting, said a statement sent to Fides, will be presided by Bishop Maroun Lahham of Tunis, Vice-President of CERN. The meeting will be attended by the bishops and vicars-general of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as the Prefect Apostolic of Western Sahara and the Vicar General of Nouakchott (Mauritania).
Among the topics on the agenda is a thorough examination of life in the countries of CERN and the Church's situation one year from the previous meeting held in Tunis in June 2009 (see Fides 17/6/2009). "In particular - the statement said - there will be an exchange of views on the expulsion of Christian missionaries from Morocco and other countries, and the difficulties encountered in the exercise of freedom of worship and religious freedom, as well as recalling the signs of hope present. Another point concerns the pastoral care of migrants, because North Africa receives many faithful from sub-Saharan Africa.
The 4 bishops of CERNA who participated in the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod will present a report and CERNA will reflect on how to carry out the guidelines issued in the Assembly in the dioceses of North Africa.
The bishops will also investigate the “Lineamenta” for the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, which several of them will attend, especially on issues affecting Muslim-Christian relations.
Lastly, in light of the Year for Priests, the bishops will make an effort so that all the priests serving in North Africa (religious, diocesan, and Fidei Donum) live out the priesthood in its authenticity, according to the dynamics affirmed in Vatican II. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/4/2010)