Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Benedict XVI treated the African Church in a very special way, carrying our Continent in his heart with fervor, with fervor, conviction and generosity". Thus expressed Cardinal Fridolin Besungu Ambongo, ofm Cap., on behalf of the African bishops in his message of condolences for the death of the Pope Emeritus.
"Benedict XVI invited Africa to trust in itself in order to stand up with dignity. He saw in her the spiritual lung for a humanity that seems to be in crisis of faith and hope" - underlined the Cardinal, metropolitan Archbishop of Kinshasa and Vice-President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). Throughout the late Pope’s pontifical ministry which was from April 2005 until his resignation in February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI gave "a great witness of the new evangelization as servant of love in truth".
He (the late Pope) convened the Second Synodal Assembly for Africa in order to give the Church of God on the African continent a new impetus charged with evangelical hope and charity. "The people of Africa know that Benedict XVI treated them in a very special way".
On their side, bishops of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) echoed that the convocation of the Second Synod of Africa in 2009, and the late Pope Emeritus’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Africae Munus in 2011 "shall remain graceful moments for the Church in Africa".
"The late Pope's emphasis on embracing a transformative theological approach to evangelization ushered in a new dimension of doing our mission", commented AMECEA’s Chairman Charles Sampa Kasonde, Bishop of Solwezi, Zambia, on behalf of Eastern Africa bishops, clergy, consecrated men and women, the laity and the youth.
Pope Benedict XVI, "proposed a new path of inter religious dialogue (IRD) that goes beyond mere tolerance", highlighted the bishop of Malindi Willybard Kitogho Lagho, Chairman of the Commission of Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB). (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/1/2023)