AFRICA/KENYA - Missionary renewal of the Church in Africa, in view of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of “Propaganda Fide”

Thursday, 3 October 2019


Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "Bringing together a number of academics to analyze the state of evangelization in Africa and propose possible new ways and missionary solutions": this was the goal of the first continental conference in view of the 400th anniversary celebrations of the Foundation of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), scheduled for 2022, recently organized by Tangaza University College, of the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA). As reported by Fr. Joseph Caramazza, a Comboni Missionary from Tangaza University College, the conference, on the theme "Mission in Africa, Evangelizing the Future", was organized by Missio Aachen in collaboration with the Pontifical Urbaniana University of Rome and the Tangaza University College of Nairobi.
"Evangelization in Africa requires a concrete journey into the future. The year of evangelization in Africa on this perspective is also the year of our missionary renewal of the whole Church", said Fr. Leonardo Sileo, OFM, Rector of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, in the message sent to the participants read in his name by Fr. Paul Steffen, SVD.
The three key points on which the participants were confronted included: activities and actions to bring the Gospel closer to the real social cultural and technological context; the role of women in the life and mission of the Church today, which is of particular importance and an opportunity for missionary renewal; finally, the relationship between the Gospel and the future of humanity visible in the symbiosis between mission and integral development of humanity.
Klaus Vellguth, on behalf of "Missio Aachen", gave a brief overview of the history of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, founded by Pope Gregory XV in 1622 to counter the loss of influence that the Catholic Church had suffered due to the spread of Protestantism in Europe. "The attention of the congregation on Europe changed rapidly shortly after its establishment because the Church, at the end of the 30 years of war, had not reached a balance between the Christian churches", emphasized Mr. Vellguth.
The history of the relationship of Propaganda Fide and the local African churches was among the documents presented at the conference. The three continental conferences in Africa (2019), Latin America (2020) and Asia (2021) will culminate in an intercontinental conference in Rome in 2022. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 3/10/2019)