By Paschal Norbert
VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 18, 2023 (CISA)– Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu OFMCap of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has called the Synod on Synodality in Rome as “the new Pentecost, which will certainly renew the church in the communion of its members and in the active participation of all in the life and mission of the church.”
Celebrating Mass with Synod 2023 participants on October 13, the president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in his homily said the Catholic Church “needed this time of grace and discernment, a time to look back on the road we have travelled, with its glories and failures, and draw lessons for a new beginning.”
Reflecting from the reading of the day from the Book of Joel in which the prophet calls for repentance for many sins and gives a warning about the Day of the Lord and excludes no one from the need to repent and do penance. He begins with the priests and all those who serve at the altar. He calls on them to sanctify a fast and cry out to God for they have failed in their duties.
Cardinal Ambongo said, “Coming from all continents, and united as one family, in this beauty of unity in cultural diversity, we are also invited to weep and lament before this altar, at the tomb of Saint Peter, because of our weaknesses as a Church.”
“We are here to cry and ask God for forgiveness for our sins. But the best way to cry is the courage to undertake the path of repentance and conversion, which opens paths of reconciliation, healing and justice,” he stated.
Cardinals Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, and Cristóbal López Romero of Rabat, Morocco, were the principal concelebrants at the Mass celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica. This week, the Synod delegates are discussing the third module of the Instrumentum Laboris, centered on the mission and responding to the question, “How can we better share gifts and tasks in the service of the Gospel?”