Dakar (Fides Service) – “The emotion at this African shrine of black suffering (John Paul II) is strong and intense for us Christians and it is an expression of the special presence of the Holy Spirit, the first protagonist of history and artisan of a new world. Addressing you we wish to share with you the Spirit of God who allows us to live this memorable day, as a grace for the black man who has suffered so deeply from the blows of history” said Archbishop Monsengwo Pasinya of Kisangani, referring to the tragedy of African slavery during a Day of Memory at Gore in Senegal on Sunday 5th October. Gore was the place where most of the slaves shipped to America embarked never to return.
The Archbishop is president of SCEAM/SECAM Symposium of Bishops’ Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, presently meeting in Dakar which organised the memorial service. In his address he said: “sin against blacks does not concern only the past. It is still committed today. We continue to perpetuate it under other forms in different fields: selling and buying our brothers and sisters, fostering hated and revenge, embracing the mentality of defeat and impotence, the inferiority complex of the black man”. The Archbishop said “we condemn, and we call on the leaders of our countries to condemn, the new forms of slavery, the deportation of our daughters for prostitution, sex tourism, selling of our children, forced enrolment of our children in fratricidal neo-colonial wars, sacking of Africa’s underground riches. We also condemn, and we invite all to condemn, ethnic, tribal, regional exclusion, which dangerously undermines our societies”. LM (Fides Service 8/10/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 327)