Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "It is well known that in 2020 the health crisis of Covid-19 had repercussions on the practice of faith and on pastoral care. From this point of view, the planned activities were not carried out as they should have been, with the drastic measures and restrictions adopted by the States to contain this crisis. Activities in all sectors, including the life of the Church, have been slowed down and poverty has gained ground", said Fr. Emmanuel Wohi Nin, Secretary General of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Ivory Coast.
The Secretary of the CECI observed that, despite the health crisis, "the people of God in Ivory Coast have not rested on their laurels. Sacraments such as baptisms, first communions, confirmations and marriages were celebrated in all dioceses "in strict compliance with the measures against the coronavirus.
Evoking the main actions of the local Church in the recently concluded 2020, Fr. Emmanuel indicates among others: the celebration of the episcopal ordination of the Auxiliary Bishop of Bouaké, Mgr. Jacques Assanvo AHIWA, on 3 October 2020 in the Cathedral of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus of Bouaké (in the center of the country); priestly ordinations in all the dioceses, which have allowed the Catholic Church in Ivory Coast to enrich itself with a considerable number of priests and consecrated persons. On 7 December the priests of the Société des Missions Africaines de Lyon celebrated 125 years of presence in Ivory Coast; the Pauline Sisters opened the biblical year, the Apostolate of the Sea celebrated World Fishing Day. In short, various activities were carried out in the different national executive secretariats and in the associations of the lay faithful. The Episcopal Conference renewed its offices in July, with the re-election of Monsignor Ignace Bessi Dogbo as president of the CECCI. The latter has just been appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Korhogo. At the level of ongoing formation, the General Secretariat of CECCI recalled the organization of a formation course in the Social Doctrine of the Church for the delegates of all the dioceses. "At a socio-political level, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church continued throughout the year to urge political leaders and their fellow citizens to work tirelessly for the consolidation of the rule of law through inclusive and transparent elections, peaceful coexistence and promotion of sense of the common good", adds Fr. Wohi Nin who pointed out, however, that not all objectives have been achieved. "There are short, medium and long term goals. Consequently, achieving goals is always relative. In life, everything can be improved. The important thing is to never give up". By 2021, the Secretary of the CECI, stated that he wishes to pursue the objectives of the five-year strategic plan of the Conference, that is to reconcile man with God, with others, and to contribute to making the Church an important protagonist in integral human development. For Fr. Emmanuel 2021 is also the great Jubilee of Evangelization of Ivory Coast that will close on 24 January 2021 in the parish of Saint-Esprit de Mockeyville in the diocese of Grand-Bassam (see Fides, 7/1/2021). "A Jubilee is the feast of God's presence, a time of thanksgiving, commitment and fidelity to the Gospel. The proclamation of the Gospel must rediscover the ardor of the early evangelization of the African continent. With gratitude we must learn from the enthusiasm of many missionaries who, for centuries, have sacrificed their lives to bring the Good News to their African brothers and sisters. The celebration of 125 years of evangelization is absolutely necessary to compensate for the delay in formation and the strengthening of the capacities of pastoral agents, consecrated and lay persons". (S.S.) (Agenzia Fides, 13/1/2021)