AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - In their first plenary assembly this year the Catholic Bishops of Mozambique reflect on formation of priests and the celebration of the Eucharist

Friday, 29 April 2005

Maputo (Fides Service) -“The death of Pope John Paul II happened while we were in Maputo for the first Plenary Assembly this year” the Bishops of Mozambique wrote in a statement issued at the end of the meeting. “When we learned of the death of the Pope we suspended our work immediately to join in the prayers organised by the archdiocese of Maputo and the Nunciature. We all concelebrated at the Mass in Maputo cathedral. The Mass was attended by the highest civil authorities including President Armando Emilio Guebuza “His presence was a mark of appreciation for the ministry of Pope John Paul II and recognition of the good achieved all over the world with his multiform pastoral” the Bishops said.
During the assembly the Bishops reflected on: “formation of future priests in Mozambique a major concern for the Bishops’ conference. In agreement with our missionary institutes which fulfil with great dedication the responsibility for the formation for future priests in seminaries in Mozambique, the diocese are sending diocesan priests to study in Rome and various other places to prepare to be formators for future priests”.
The programme is producing results. “Saint Pius X seminary has a complete team of priests selected from different dioceses. By the end of 2005 St. Augustine’s College of Philosophy will have a teaching staff composed of priests from dioceses in the north, centre and south. The philosophy and theology programme of St Athanasius College is almost ready. We rely on the important collaboration of Comboni missionaries now free of their commitment at St Augustine’s seminary ”.
In the Year of the Eucharist the Bishops recall norms for the celebration of Mass: “Delay in presenting a document of liturgical orientation demonstrates that it is not prudent to act in haste and impose rigid norms. A pastoral note to dioceses affirms the principle that each Bishop in his diocese has a duty to guide the liturgy and the task to interpret the pastoral note”. While affirming that “ unjustified rigid norms can impeded spontaneous devotion”, recall that “the last acts of the Holy Father John Paul II recommend dignity and respect in the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass so it may be the centre of Christian life”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/4/2005 righe 36 parole 432)