AFRICA/BENIN - "Let us pray for peaceful elections" says PMS Diocesan Director of Cotonou

Thursday, 25 April 2019 elections   pontifical mission societies   extraordinary missionary month  

Cotonou (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church invites the faithful to pray so that the Lord will inspire us to find ways to get the country out of the crisis", says Fr. Augustin Placide Houessinon, of the Society of African Missions (SMA), Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of the Archdiocese of Cotonou, on the eve of the vote for the renewal of the Parliament to be held on April 28th.
"The opposition felt excluded after the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENA) published the list of parties that could participate in the elections. Only two progressive and republican parties were chosen, both close to President Patrice Talon", recalls Fr. Augustin. "Everyone says that they want inclusive elections with the participation of every political formation, but the block persists. We invoke the help of the Lord so that people may open themselves to his grace so that the elections are peaceful and free for the good of the country".
Fr. Augustine recalls that the Church is playing its part, not only with public interventions by the Bishops (see Fides 16.4.2019) but also with initiatives to train the population to vote. "We have a monthly training organized by the Institut des Artisans de Justice et de Paix (IAJP): Every month, experts and professors who are familiar with the subject, hold courses to prepare the population for the vote. Furthermore, in the course of our preaching we remind the faithful that the vote is their right and duty, and that they must vote according to conscience".
Fr. Augustine emphasizes that the Church in Benin is committed to preparing the Missionary Extraordinary Month to be held in October. "At a diocesan and parish level we want to rediscover and enhance our missionary dimension; that the Church is missionary by nature, and that every baptized person is a missionary", says Fr. Augustin. "In particular, the PMS of Benin are launching training courses and initiatives at a diocesan and parish level to participate in the initiative proposed by Pope Francis, to rediscover that we are all sent by Jesus to spread the Gospel", he concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/4/2019)