By Paschal Norbert
NAIROBI, JULY 22, 2022 (CISA) – Pope Francis has sent his message of assurance and support for the II Pan-African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society and Pastoral Life that is currently ongoing at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on July 19.
“I am delighted to hear about this meeting at the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi. I know that you are meeting for the II Pan-African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society and Pastoral Life. It is a sign of hope that Theologians, Laity, Priests, Men and Women Religious, Bishops have taken the initiative to walk together,” the pope assured.
In his video message sent to the congress on the opening of the assembly, the Holy Father heartened the gathering that brings together African Catholic Theologians and Pastoral leaders to continue their great efforts in “Coming together to discern what God is telling us TODAY, not only to meet challenging needs with certainty but also to make African dreams come true (social, cultural, ecological and ecclesial dreams) is already a sign of an outgoing African Church.”
Pope Francis in his message extended his love and admiration for the faith and resilience of the African Church while reflecting on his 2015 trip to the Central African Republic, in which he says, “Africa always surprises us.” With this meditation, the supreme pontiff urged the participants of the congress to “Bring out the best of you in these reflections so that the result will be a surprise so that African creation that surprises us all can be born. Because Africa is poetry.
“The wisdom of the African ancestors reminds us of this important call that, “mountains never meet, but people do.” Let us continue on. Together. Accompanying one another, helping one another and growing together,” reassured the Holy Father.
“May a wisdom theology, as you propose, be the good news of mercy for the poor and nourish people and their communities in their struggle for life, peace and hope. May the Holy Spirit inspire you, may paths emerge from this congress that the church needs; paths of missionary, ecological conversion, peace, reconciliation and transformation of the whole world,” the pope prayed.
The Second Biannual Pan-African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society and Pastoral Life is being held from July 19 to 23 in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme “Walking Together for a Vital Church in Africa and in the World.”
The congress is hosted by the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network (PACTPAN) in conjunction with the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), and brings together generations of scholars, teachers, and pastoral workers, with an emphasis and commitment to streamlining women at all levels of their work, to create scholarly resources and make these resources broadly available for the use in both the academy and the ministry.