UGANDA: Bishops Consider Request for a SECAM Youth Wing

KAMPALA, JULY 26, 2019 (CISA) – Bishops of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) are considering a proposal by the youth to assign a bishop to be responsible for youth apostolate at the continental level.

Representatives on SECAM Standing Committee emphasized on the importance of empowering young people today for stronger leadership tomorrow.

“If we ignore the call of our young people today and continue with business as usual without recognizing them, without empowering them, it means that the SECAM of tomorrow will not be very powerful,” said Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of the Catholic Archdiocese of Blantyre during a press briefing.

Archbishop Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast said that things are changing in the society and that it is high time they started listening to the youth.

“…whether we like it or not we should focus our attention on them. For me I consider the youth as not the tomorrow of the Church but today, I call them a present, a gift,” said the Archbishop.

In their presentation to the SECAM Plenary Assembly, representatives of National Youth leaders, Coordinators and Chaplains from various Episcopal Conferences in Africa together with the International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) requested the bishops to consider forming a continental body for African Youth indicating that SECAM should focus on them given that they comprise more than 65% of the Church membership in Africa if they want to have a greater focus in the next 50 years.

The body will assist in coordination at the continental level in order to draw realistic policies that were raised in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit, to the young people and to the entire people of God, strengthen the position of all Catholic youth in Africa by pooling resources and addressing issues collectively, foster a better participation in building up the Church and society, and act as a mouth piece for all youth in Africa with one vision and grant the African youth opportunity to organize regular activities that will bring them together.