The Faculty of Theology and Religious Sciences of the Catholic Institute of Paris (ICP) organized a special meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) on 2nd April 2019 in Paris.
Initiated by Jean-Louis Souletie, Dean of Theologicum and Brigitte Cholvy, Director of the Theologicum Doctoral Studies Cycle, the meeting reflected on the need to review the history of SECAM, its influence on the ecclesial and theological orientations of the African theology, its social impact, future ecclesial, theological and societal dynamics for Africa.
The President of SECAM, Most Rev. Gabriel Mbilingi, C.S.Sp, Archbishop of Lubango, Angola, in a speech delivered on his behalf, thanked the Theologicum for their interest in the Church in Africa. He further briefed the audience on the SECAM story since it took up the challenge in 1969 to lead the Church in Africa to be missionary to itself. He urged them to look forward to the Pastoral document that will be issued after the Plenary Assembly and Golden Jubilee in July 2019 in Kampala, Uganda.
The Rector of the ICP, Most Rev. Philippe Bordeyne, who welcomed the guests to the event said the occasion was a reflection of the bond between the two institutions and the interest to continue working together for the growth of the church. The Theologicum has supported the Church in Africa by training many priests, religious, and lay people from the continent to enhance the teaching, pastoral and supervision responsibilities, as well as research.