AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The Bishops: "after 125 years of evangelization we are urged to put an end to the crisis"

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 evangelization   extraordinary missionary month   bishops   peace   development  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "After 125 years of evangelization, we thank God for his work of salvation in the life of the Central African people through the commitment of men and women of faith. We pay tribute to all missionaries, religious and lay people, whose testimony of faith and dedication has been and remains a model in the construction of ecclesial communities. Furthermore, we bow before the memory of those who followed Christ to the Calvary and brought his suffering into their bodies as martyrs", write the Bishops of the Central African Republic in the message published at the end of their Ordinary Assembly at the Cathedral of Bangui held from 6 to January 12.
Recalling the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019, the Bishops say they want to "take a look at the missionary life of the Church and transmit a message of hope, peace and awakening of conscience".
"We bless the Lord for his Spirit who guides the Church in the Central African Republic in its commitments for justice, human rights, the improvement of people's living conditions and the non-violent settling of conflicts, especially in the worst moments of our history" the message continues, the text of which was sent to Agenzia Fides.
"However, it is well known that much remains to be done for an effective recovery of our country", the Bishops warn. "The conflict that rages with all its dramatic consequences makes forms of counter-testimony appear in our lives. Some Christians separate their professional life from their life of faith. Others mix magic practices with sacramental celebrations. Still others are attracted to sects and secret societies (masonry, Rosicrucians, etc.). Finally, some abandon the great values of unity, dignity, work, respect, solidarity, honesty in favor of easy earnings and the pursuit of their interests".
While expressing appreciation for the government's work in strengthening security forces, the Bishops stress that "the solution to the armed conflict in the Central African Republic is not only military, we ask ourselves: when will quality training and mass recruitment of teachers, professors, nurses and doctors take place?"
The Bishops conclude with a series of recommendations to the various components of Central African society. In particular, they ask the government to commit itself to respecting the Constitution and to organize free and transparent elections within the times established by law. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 14/1/2020)