Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "Some time ago, in order to express their closeness to their priests and help them, support them in their pastoral and ministerial efforts, the Bishops decided to organize an extraordinary congress of the clergy in the Ivory Coast", said His Exc. Msgr. Gaspard Béby Gnéba, Bishop of Man, apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Odienné and Episcopal Chair of the Commission for Clergy, Seminaries and Pastoral Care of Vocations in Ivory Coast, during a press conference.
"Last year the diocesan phase was held; the priests gathered around a preparatory document for the congress to reflect, pray and make proposals to the Episcopal Conference to help and effectively accompany the priests of the country to live the grace they have received and to fulfill their ministry. This year we are entering the national phase", said Mgr. Gnéba, who announced that the Extraordinary Congress of the clergy will take place from 1 to 5 July on the theme: "The priest in Ivory Coast in the face of situations that challenge his life".
In this perspective, the Ivorian Bishops have developed and adopted a five-year pastoral plan based on the challenges of the Ivorian society and the Church of the family of God in Ivory Coast, characterized by two essential points: the announcement of the Gospel of unity, of communion, reconciliation and brotherhood; the promotion of the Gospel of compassion and mercy through the service of integral human development.
In the extremely fragile socio-political context which the Ivory Coast is currently living, a few months before the presidential elections of October 2020, which arouse great concern among the Ivorian population, the Congress will allow priests to return to their fundamental mission. "The crises of the world, of our times and of contemporary Ivorian society (social crisis, political crisis, family crisis, etc.) challenge the priests and ask them for pertinent and unprecedented answers. They invite them to rethink their lives and their ministries", stressed the Bishop of Man. (SS) (Agenzia Fides, 27/1/2020)