AFRICA - Undermining mission means undermining the very nature of the Church: No to "invisible Shepherds"

Monday, 11 November 2019


Kara (Agenzia Fides) - "The challenge of mission must be a priority for our churches in Africa. Often the many challenges that we Churchmen face are weakening the will to open up and involve the risk of a bureaucratic pastoral care. Our Shepherds sometimes find themselves trapped, they become prisoners of offices, unable to go out to meet people". Father Donald Zagore, Ivorian theologian of the Society for African Missions returns to reflect on the reality of the mission in Africa by proposing "a missionary culture of tents rather than offices".
"The bureaucratic style that increasingly characterizes the pastoral dynamics of many of our Churches in Africa risks killing the prophetic and missionary nature of the same", explains the priest. "Mission does not take place in offices, but in the meeting with the people. We must never forget that the Church is missionary by nature, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us. To undermine mission means to undermine the very nature of the Church".
"The bureaucratic style favors increasingly churches to close up on themselves - Zagore insists - unable to open up and above all to go out of themselves to meet others. In the long run, this style makes the Shepherds more and more invisible and far from the people. In Africa we want visible Shepherds".
"Our offices, giant walls that separate and distance priests from the faithful, must be replaced by placing tents in the vast courtyards of our parishes to give Shepherds the opportunity to be in permanent contact with the faithful. Facing the challenge of tents, rather than that of offices, could constitute a renewed missionary vocation in the churches in Africa", concludes Zagore. (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 11/11/2019)