AFRICA/EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Bishop Rugambwa to the bishops of Central Africa: “Bishops must be spokespersons and defenders of youth in governments and societies”

AFRICA/EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Bishop Rugambwa to the bishops of Central Africa: “Bishops must be spokespersons and defenders of youth in governments and societies”

Mongomo (Agenzia Fides) – “The Episcopate of the Central African Republic must be the spokesperson and tireless defender of youth in their respective governments and societies, drawing attention to the reality of the migratory phenomenon, which places young people at the foreground, especially as victims. This is the invitation issued by Bishop Protase Rugambwa, who spoke on behalf of the Section for First Evangelization and the new particular Churches of the Dicastery for Evangelization, at the Plenary Assembly of ACERAC (Association of Regional Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa).
ACERAC, founded in 1989, brings together the bishops of Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic and the Congo.
The 2022 Annual Assembly, to be held in Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea) from July 17 to 24, will address the central theme: “The phenomenon of youth migration: the case of Central Africa”, a theme considered “essential and current” by the Archbishop, who follows the themes addressed at the last Synod of Bishops on young people, in the years 2018-2019, which were also taken up in the apostolic exhortation “Christus Vivit” by Pope Francis. Faced with the migratory phenomenon, Bishop Rugambwa underlined, it is necessary “to help the youth of Central Africa not to waste, but rather to shape an identity that values ​​their origins, their culture and their religiosity in the encounter with new cultural and religious realities. diagrams and models. The whole Church, beginning with us Pastors, must commit to confronting this migratory phenomenon, evaluating its positive and negative elements”. In his address, Bishop Rugambwa expressed his appreciation for the good collaboration that binds the Dicastery for Evangelization, in particular its Section for First Evangelization and new particular Churches, and the six Episcopal Conferences of the Central African Region , in the evangelizing mission of the universal Church. This path must be pursued according to the synodal impulse called by the Holy Father to “work together, in this phase of changes (reforms), both in the Church and in society”.
In this context, the Archbishop also underlined the priority of ensuring an adequate formation of pastoral agents, since “all the baptized must be prepared to become missionary disciples, including the young people of today and tomorrow”. Young people in particular “are a precious force for missionary activities and for the growth of the Church”, which is why their adequate formation remains a priority for effective evangelization ad intra and ad extra, that is to say both in the Church and in society. This formation is ensured by the Pontifical Mission Societies, in particular by Holy Childhood, as well as by Ecclesial Associations and Movements, educational centers and institutes.
As the Holy Father says in the Letter “Christus Vivit” (n. 144), while being drawn towards the future and its promise, young people also have a strong desire to live in the present moment. “We have the task of satisfying this desire and accompanying it carefully – the Archbishop underlined -. Indeed, we make use of the aforementioned ecclesial institutions, always trying to promote and support activities that involve young people. In addition, we always focus on the commitment of families, pastors, consecrated persons, all faithful adults”.
Bishop Rugambwa concluded his address by wishing the Assembly a fruitful process and imploring “the guidance of the Holy Spirit for a renewed missionary spirit of young people in the Central Africa region.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 07/20/2022)


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