"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Sunday, June 24, 2018


FRANCIS encourages Africa’s homegrown Churches in peace building, social justice, coexistence

  Francis on Saturday reminded the Catholic Church and Africa’s homegrown Churches of their “shared commitment to promoting peace processes in the various areas of conflict, as well as to concrete forms of solidarity towards those in need”, especially the most underprivileged and vulnerable.

Coexistence, peace, justice


“A particular task of Christians in African societies is that of fostering the coexistence of differing ethnic groups, traditions, languages and religions, a task that often meets with obstacles due to grave mutual antagonisms,” the Pope told 11 members of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC).  The group founded in 1978, represents about 60 million members of numerous Christian denominations across Sub-Saharan Africa and the African Diaspora.
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The Pope noted that the history of their Churches and communities have been marked by the struggle for independence on the African continent, and by subsequent efforts to shape societies of justice and peace, capable of defending the dignity of the great variety of African peoples.

Unfulfilled dreams – Gospel of hope

The Holy Father lamented that the promise of progress and justice held out in that process of liberation was not always fulfilled.  Many countries, he said, are still far from peace and from an overall economic, social and political development that can ensure suitable living conditions and opportunities for all their citizens.
Hinting at Africa's colonial past the Pope said the continent “has been compared to the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers who stripped him, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.”  “As a response to the desperation of the poor, the frustration of young people and the cry of pain of the elderly and the suffering,” the Holy Father said, “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, passed on and lived out, translates into experiences of hope, peace, joy, harmony, love and unity.”

Ecumenical commitment

If Christians are truly convinced that Africa’s problems can be more easily resolved by drawing upon the continent’s human, cultural and material resources, the Pope said, “it is clear that our Christian duty is to accompany every effort to favour a wise and ethical use of those resources.”
For this reason, Pope Francis encouraged greater encounter and ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic and other Churches. He also hoped the Holy Spirit will lead them to discover the best way to promote cooperation among Christians, with followers of traditional religions and Islam for the sake of a better future for Africa.

FRANCIS: ‘Interreligious dialogue built on openness not syncretism'

Speaking to members of the “Emouna Fraternité Alumni”,  Francis encourages the Association’s efforts on behalf of interreligious dialogue, telling them to live in a spirit of solidarity open to differences, without resorting to syncretism.
By Devin Watkins
 Francis on Saturday told a French interreligious association to encourage dialogue among people of different faiths and to promote peace and the sacredness of every human life.
He was speaking to a delegation of the “Emouna Fraternité Alumni” Association, which seeks to strengthen the bonds of solidarity among different religions.

Religious openness fosters peace

The Pope said the group proves it is possible “to live a healthy pluralism, respecting each person’s differences and values.”
“You also give witness, in a spirit of openness, to the capacity of religions to take part in public debate in a secularized society.”
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 Francis said their “bonds of solidarity” show how “dialogue among members of different religions is a necessary condition for contributing to peace in the world.”
Three attitudes are required, he said, to encourage dialogue: “the duty to respect one’s own identity and that of others, the courage to accept differences, and sincerity of intentions.”

Differences nourish solidarity

  Francis said solidarity must be lived in an “attitude of openness towards others” and never in “a conciliatory syncretism.”
“On the contrary, [solidarity] seeks always and sincerely to be enriched by differences, with the desire to better understand and respect them, because each person’s good resides in the good of all.”
He said the work of the Emouna Association shows that “religions are not part of the problem but are part of the solution.”

Well-rooted trees

Finally, Francis invited those who promote interreligious dialogue “to be well-rooted trees, grounded in the soil of history and your respective traditions.”
“I encourage you to build a culture of encounter and dialogue, to promote peace, and to defend – with sweetness and respect – the sacredness of every human life against all forms of physical, social, educative, or psychological violence.”
Pray for one another, Pope Francis said, and may God “help you walk as brothers and sisters along the path of encounter, dialogue, and harmony in a spirit of collaboration and friendship.”