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Kenya Colloquium on Church, Religion and Society in Africa

Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya - RV

Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya - RV

15/07/2015 12:16

(Vatican Radio) Theologians and Catholic leaders from across Africa are gathering at the Jesuit Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya for a Colloquium focused on issues of concern for the Church and wider society across the continent. The meeting, which opens on Thursday, marks the third and final stage of a three-year theological research project coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Second Vatican Council.

These encounters aim to develop a new and innovative process of theological reflection and research from across the continent, including the perspectives of Africans living in other parts of the world.

To find out more about the goals of the Colloquium, Philippa Hitchen talked to the convener of the three day meeting, Fr Orobator Agbonkhianmeghe, who serves as Jesuit Provincial for the East Africa region  


Fr Orobator says it's the first time that many young African scholars are coming together with established theologians, bishops, clergy, lay men and women, English and French speaking, to contribute to the conversation about issues pertaining to the Church and to wider society...

He says the meeting will be "deeply inspired" by the two Synods of Bishops on Africa in 1994 and 2009, attempting to build on their message of reconciliation, justice and peace. Participants will also be connecting with the ongoing Synod of Bishops on the family, discussing many of the themes that will be under the spotlight again during the forthcoming Synod in October in the Vatican...

When the Second Vatican Council took place, Fr Orobator says it wasn't really possible to talk about the African Church which was still in a very early stage. 50 years on, he says, "we're not looking back but looking forward to Vatican III" and beginning to define issues that are most pertinent to the Church and society in the 21st century, such as ecology, relations between religions and questions of gender....

Fr Orobator notes that the international conference on financing the Sustainable Development Goals is winding up in neighbouring Ethiopia and he says the Kenya Colloquium is looking precisely at those issues where the Church would feel particularly engaged and responsible for furthering that development agenda...


15/07/2015 12:16