Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - "Let us think more of what we have in common and what we can do together in building a strong Church within the region", says Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo, Secretary General of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) in his speech at the 19th Plenary Assembly of the association, which brings together the Episcopal Conferences of East Africa, underway in Addis Ababa (see Fides 16/7/2018).
Fr. Lugonzo recalled that AMECEA was the first association of its kind to be constituted in the world. The first Plenary Assembly of AMECEA took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1961. On that occasion the Bishops set seven objectives which are still valid, underlined Fr. Lugonzo, remembering that the original philosophy of the association is "to think globally and act locally".
"After reflecting on the seven points on the agenda we need to have long term strategy of the future of the Church in Africa", noted the Secretary General of AMECEA.
The first point concerns the Church and Media. The Assembly is discussing the establishment of a regional television station, a radio station and a typography to promote evangelization in the region. Other points on the agenda are the spiritual formation for Diocesan Priests, need for a Centre for pastoral renewal and on-going formation, possibility of a regional University, the adoption of programs for self-sufficiency, the future of Catholic schools and Catholic education, as well as issues on justice and peace in the region.
In his speech, His Exc. Mgr. Telesphore George Mpundu, Archbishop Emeritus of Lusaka, in Zambia, recalled the role of the small Christian communities (SCC) that originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and then extended to the other States of AMECEA. Mgr. Mpundu encouraged unity and solidarity among Bishops, urging them to strengthen their solidarity, collaboration and spirit of faith especially on Pastoral Renewal at national, regional and global level. "We also have to reflect deeply on how to support women in the Church who play a big role in developing our Church", he stressed. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 17/72018)