Sao Tome (Agenzia Fides) – Representatives from the Bishops' Conferences of Portuguese-speaking countries are meeting in São Tomé, July 2 to 9, to discuss the theme: “The Church and The Fight Against Poverty – Sharing Experiences,” according to information sent to Fides from the Curia of Bissau. Participants are from the following Portuguese-speaking countries: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Macao, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and East Timor. The issue of poverty had been the focus of Caritas in Portuguese-speaking countries, in the meeting held in recent months in Bissau. An appeal to political authorities and the Government, asking that they promote concrete policies to combat poverty, is expected to emerge from the meeting in São Tomé.
Other issues to be addressed in the meeting include the international cooperation among Portuguese-speaking countries, communion between the Churches and the exchange of proposals at the service of evangelization, support for young people in higher education. For example, the Major Seminary of Guinea Bissau will benefit from the annual presence of Brazilian professors to teach philosophy and theology, the result of such cooperation. During the proceedings, the bishops will also visit different places and communities of São Tomé, to get in touch with the realities of the island. The meeting of Portuguese-speaking Bishops, which is the 9th of its kind, is held every two years, each time in a different Portuguese-speaking nation, and is a place of meeting, exchange, and definition of joint actions for the Portuguese-speaking dioceses. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 07/03/2010)