Bishop Benjamin Phiri of Zambia, the Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata Diocese and Bishop-Director for Seminaries at the Zambia Episcopal Conference has expressed satisfaction with the just ended Synod on the Family.
“Different geographical areas of the world may face different challenges (on the family) but when it comes to pastoral care, at the end of the day what is important is the ‘salus animarum’ –the care and salvation of souls,” Bishop Phiri told the Africa Service of Vatican Radio. He said, during the synod, various aspects of family life from all over the world were gathered and discussed in smaller groups giving the Synod Fathers a much broader appreciation of the beauty and challenges of families across the world.
“The mixture of these (language discussion groups during the synod) is a rich mixture because you share experiences and that helps us see things not just from a narrow angle.
Bishop Phiri was keen to debunk some misconceptions that Bishops from Africa, at the Synod were there to derail any reform.
“You will be surprised that what we hold dear as Africans is also held in esteem by many in various parts of the world. We want those (same) values maintained,” Bishop Phiri said.
Archbishop Mathew Man-Oso Ndagoso of Kaduna Archdioceses in Nigeria also speaking to the Africa Service of Vatican Radio said the interest that this synod generated was unprecedented.
“For me the kind of things that were said by many people, by the media about the synod…that kind of interest generated was just telling us that we had a serious task at hand," the Archbishop said.
In fact, “That was why on the first day (of the synod) the Holy Father (Pope Francis) had to intervene and tell us, ‘look this synod is not about changing Catholic teaching on marriage…’ since then then the interventions (from the Bishops during the synod) are so enriching,” Archbishop Ndagoso told Vatican Radio before the synod wound-up business.
(Fr. Paul Samasumo)