ACCRA, JULY 31, 2015 (CISA) – The Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) on July 29 launched the Year of Reconciliation in Africa with a solemn Eucharist Celebration in Accra.
The convocation of the theme, A reconciled Africa for Peaceful Coexistence, was in response to the invitation that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made in the year 2011 to the African Episcopates in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.
“This is to promote a Year of Reconciliation of continental reach, to ask God for special forgiveness for all the evils and offences that human beings have inflicted on one another in Africa, so that persons and groups that have been wounded are reconciled in the Church and in the whole of society,” reported the Vatican Information Service.
In the document, the Pope wrote that it would be “an Extraordinary Jubilee Year during which the Church in Africa and in the neighbouring Islands would give thanks with the universal Church and pray to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gifts of reconciliation, justice and peace.”
Archbishop Charles Palmer Buckle of Accra sent a letter, on behalf of the President of SECAM, Angolan Bishop Gabriel Mbilingi, to all the African Episcopal Conferences inviting them to organize during this Year “programs and initiatives of reconciliation in collaboration with the respective Commissions of Justice and Peace in their countries.”
He also urged the Continent’s Bishops to make a “special collection” in their dioceses on a Sundayof their choice, for the Second Day of SECAM, which was instituted two years ago during the 16th Assembly of that organization, to finance projects of evangelization, promotion of justice and peace and Catholic media.”
The Year will close on July 29, 2016, during the 17th Plenary Assembly of the organization, in Angola.