African and German Bishops call for a more just global order especially in ensuring that international trade offers the same opportunities to all countries and peoples.
This call was made when representatives of the German Bishops’ Conference and the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) met in Antananarivo, Madagascar from the 22-27 of May 2018, for the eighth German-African bishops’ meeting on the theme, “Integral Human Development”.
Meetings between German and African Bishops, have become a tradition since 1982. They meet once every four (4) to five (5) years to discuss mutually agreed issues as part of an effort to promote pastoral solidarity between Germany and the African continent, and also to discuss issues relevant to promoting the growth of the church in the two Conferences. The meetings have contributed to the deepening and intensification of the relationship between the local Churches in Africa and the Church in Germany.
The German delegation was led by His Eminence Reinhard Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich. The SECAM delegation, on the other hand, was led by the SECAM President, Most Rev. Gabriel Mbilingi, Archbishop of Lubango (Angola).
Whilst in Madagascar, the delegation met with the President of the Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA at the Presidency to inform him of meeting and to share ideas relating to the theme and his country.
In a joint message at the end of the meeting, the bishops reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that their “evangelisation mission and work are inseparably tied to the demands of integral human development”.
They subsequently added that, “Evangelization should lead all to understand and develop their lives and relationships with God, with their fellow women and men, and with creation”.
The Bishops further said, “The aims of integral human development should resonate within all aspects of Church life – in liturgical issues, in our catechism, education, welfare and social work. In our universities, faculties of theology and philosophy, seminaries and Catholic schools, we need to promote the teaching of Catholic Social Doctrine in order to enable the priests, religious and lay people promote the integral human development of all persons, always and everywhere,”.