H. Exc. Mons. Lucas ABADAMLOORA, Bishop of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, President of the Episcopal
The challenges faced by society are also challenges for the family: fidelity, poverty, violence, birth control, divorce, etc. From here stems the need to encourage Christians to adequately prepare for marriage and generosity in the procreation of new lives. Christian marriage even has to be strengthened in its role as domestic Church, while the African family in general must not close its eyes to the modern threats this institution is facing. Formation has an essential role and should be reinforced in every way. For lay people, as regards their spiritual life and knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church as an instrument to make them witnesses of reconciliation, justice and peace in all fields of life. They also require an ongoing professional formation. For their part, lay people can help in the formation of priests, enriching their education not just academically but also spiritually and socially. Presbyters need help to look more closely at their vocation and appreciate the sense of its ministry. A lot needs to be done before people are healed of the many wounds they bear, the fruit of the wars and dramas the continent has endured. In this sense, a purification of the memory should be established as a way towards justice and reconciliation. Since “peace is found in truth”, with the light of Christ the Church can help in this challenge through the sacramental life, liturgies of forgiveness and well-prepared counselors. The role of the Church should also be endowed as regards the apostolate to prisoners, the promotion of their human dignity and the drive towards reconciliation and integration back into society. The Church, for her part, has to wake up in front of the scourge of HIV which is decimating families. A greater role should also be given to youth, because they deserve greater access to education, integral formation and a catechesis that takes them deeper into their faith. From here stems the need for deeper religious formation on the part of teachers as well. The spreading and strengthening of human values, such as the dignity of human beings, the common good, values like peace and justice for the development of society, all have a role of great importance to play here. For this reason the pastoral of the Church in Africa, in its dialogue with society, has to aim at the task of the media and, above all, at those Catholic media principally in reconciliation, justice and peace.