Tamale (Agenzia Fides) - The challenges posed by charismatic Pentecostal movements, Youth and family life in Africa, Youth unemployment and role of the church as well as the experiences and challenges of married couples in contemporary Africa: these are the main themes faced during the fifth annual meeting of “Network Pastoral Africa” recently concluded in Tamale. The meeting whose theme was "Challenges for the Youth in Africa", was attended by several representatives, experts, delegates of the Association of members of the Episcopal Conferences of East Africa (AMECEA). "It was clear from the deliberations, that the lay faithful often times experience a spiritual void which the church does not respond to adequately void", highlights the Bishops' note sent to Agenzia Fides. "Participants committed themselves to invest in adequate catechesis of the laity with special attention to the youth", the Bishops continue. Moreover, this reflection will form a good ground for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, scheduled for October this year in Rome (see Fides 26/9/2017).
Over the past five years the Catholic Church in Africa established a forum for “Networking” between Pastoral Institutes with an aim to provide an African context for reflection on pastoral theology and a forum for an international African exchange of pastoral ministry. At this fora, representatives of leading pastoral institutes share their experiences to strengthen and inspire one another.
Last year the Fourth Annual meeting of the Network Pastoral Africa took place in Arusha, Tanzania while the Third Annual meeting took place at the AMECEA Pastoral Institute Gaba, in Eldoret, Kenya. The two previous meetings were held at Lumko, South Africa in 2013 and at the Centre for Social Concern and the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art in Malawi in 2014. The current meeting wanted to create a platform of topics to be reported and put to the attention of the Synodal Fathers who will be at the Vatican in October, with the idea of "listening to the voice of young Africans" (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 6/3/2018)