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Catholics seek ways to improve pastoral life in Africa

  Pan-African  Catholic Congress on theology, society and pastoral life  has ended with a call on the clergy to desist from  living flamboyant lifestyle and truly dedicate their lives to  the service of God so as to be able to "pasture the sheep" effectively.

        In a Four-Point statement presented at the end of the Congress,  leader of the Statement  Panel,  Rev  Fr  Professor  Iheanyi  Enwerem, Professor of Theology, and made available to national light,   the Congress  said  that they gathered to reflect  on the  future  of the Catholic  Church in Africa,   their roles as Theologians and Scholars in developing  the prophetic role  of the Gospel  in Africa .

        Top on the  statement was the commitment of the Pan-African  Congress,  renewal of African  Theology and pastoral  life,   and  looking  towards  the future
        On the commitment of the Pan-African Congress,,  he said that,  the Congress shared in the  stories of people 's faith  in Christ,  manifestation  of love to one  another,  the hopes and dreams  of the youth,  the anxieties of the people  and the groans of the earth in Africa  for  many lives being lost through  avoidable  deaths,  preventable  wars,  food insecurity,  immigration,  endemic diseases and poverty  which still continue  to take a huge toll on Africa  and Africans. They also   identified  with   the cries of God's  people  in the  continent,  the poor,  the voiceless,  the marginalised,  the unloved and the forgotten'

        According to him,  the Congress united  and committed   them to working with the Church  leaders and people in the  search for concrete and transformative proposals for the renewal  and reform  of the Church  and her institutions,  following  the teaching of Vatican 11 Council".
        They identified with the plan of the Church  in Africa  to realise the goal of missionary  conversion set out by Pope  Francis,  so that the Church  in Africa  will truly become " the spiritual lung" of Catholicism on an integral mission to  Africa and beyond.
        The statement further said that,  "In line  with the second  Congress of Black  Writers and Artists,  sixty years  ago in Rome,  together  with the message  of  SECAM in the  1974 Synod response, the Congress  accepted  that the Church  needs a diversity of theologies and  pastoral  approaches to meet the changing and challenging  contexts of faith  and life in other parts of the world. "
        They affirmed the unfailing desire to accompany  the Church  in Africa by seeking together  the ways and means through which African  theology,  pastoral  plans and  projects  in the dioceses,  parishes,  religious  communities,  Catholic social agencies  and all channels  of evangelization in the continent could  lead the  people  and  society  in Africa  to a new level of hope .
        The Congress  observed that things continue to fall apart  in the quality of life of the people  and that Africa has the largest population  of Catholics, warning that,  "unless our theologies,  institutional  structures  and pastoral  practices  translate into tools  of liberation  and the  flourishing  of  life  for Africans, the growth of the Church  will only be in number".

        They agreed that  the Congress  will be a biennial event. .

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