Presidents of AMECEA Conferences Hold A Post-Vatican Child Safeguarding Summit Meeting

By Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Online News

AMECEA Secretariat under the guidance of Pastoral Department Child Safeguarding desk held a two-day consultative meeting on 19-21 November for Bishops President of Conferences in AMECEA Region to build on the summit on “THE PROTECTION OF MINORS IN THE CHURCH” held in Rome from 21-24 February 2019.

“After the Rome summit, this is the time that the Bishops had the opportunity as presidents of Conferences in AMECEA Region to reflect together and build on what was discussed there, and the implementation of the instructions that came up,” Fr. Makunde explained.

He added that the meeting was also an opportunity for AMECEA Secretariat to share with the Bishops the recommendations gathered from consultative meetings with the member conferences. “We have had consultative meetings with the clergy in Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya and Malawi.

In all these Conferences there were some recommendations which came up. We have put them together and in this forum we shared with the Bishops President of conferences,” Fr. Makunde elaborated, adding that there is an intention to have a general action plan for the region which will be adopted by the Member Conferences according to their needs.

Speaking at the opening of the consultative meeting, Most Rev. Luke Thomas Msusa, the Vice Chairman of AMECEA and President of Malawi Episcopal Conference (ECM) expressed his delight at the opportunity to reflect on the Vatican Summit on Child Safeguarding.

He noted with appreciation the seriousness with which the AMECEA region has taken up the matter. “I wish to thank the AMECEA Secretariat for keeping the fire alive. Indeed, every child is a gift from God and deserves our caring and protective efforts to enable him or her attain his/her fullest development. Children were, and continue to be at the heart of Jesus’ ministry. Sacred Scriptures implore us to cautiously and carefully let children come to Christ,” Archbishop Msusa said.

Archbishop Msusa who is also the local ordinary of Blantyre Archdiocese reiterated the fact that Pope Francis has spelt out, with great care and caution, steps that the Universal Church must take to protect children and also to rid the Church of accusation of any form of abuse of minors. He urged his brother bishops in the Region to be united in steering the Church towards a safe and child friendly environment.

Peace Building workshop held in Johannesburg – South Africa

Following the wide range of conflicts and peacebuilding challenges on the African continent, from electoral violence, threats to democratic processes, failing states riven by tribal and ethnic conflicts, and violent religious extremism, SECAM/JPDC in collaboration with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network & Other Partners organized a workshop on the Church’s Role in Peace Processes from 7-12 October 2019 Johannesburg, South Africa.

The workshop was aimed at considering best practices and helping participants develop strategies that could strengthen the Catholic Church’s engagement in formal and informal peace building processes.

Some key areas that were looked at during the workshop were:

  • facilitating or mediating political settlements between ruling parties and political opponents and between governments and armed groups;
  • ensuring fair elections through election monitoring;
  • working with other religious actors on “people-to-people” peace and reconciliation processes that complement formal processes;
  • serving on official truth and reconciliation and human rights commissions;
  • advocating for responsible state and civil society action to address religious extremism

The workshop brought together 30 participants from different parts of the continent and included participants from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Peacebuilding Network (CPN) and the media.

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