While the African continent is shattered by wars, violence and religious intolerance, church leaders gathered at the continental phase of the synod in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between 1st-6th March, point to charity, compassion and solidarity as remedies.
Pope Francis launched the Synod on Solidarity-a process of listening and dialogue-in Rome in 2021. Over 200 participants took part in the continental assembly in the Horn of Africa country, including nine cardinals, 29 bishops and 41 priests from across Africa, Madagascar and the islands.
The majority of them, however, were lay women and men, consecrated people, including young people, and representatives of other Christian traditions. African cardinals warned that, despite remarkable growth of the church in Africa, challenges, including bitter and painful experiences of conflict and war, racial tensions and tribalism, political instability and looting of national wealth were persisting.
With key youth participation, the assembly noted that the church in Africa was vibrant because of the energy, passion and creativity of the youth.
“Young people have an important place and a pivotal role in the Synodal Family of God in Africa,” said the conference.
Picture: People celebrates as they wait for the start of Pope Francis’ meeting with young people and catechists in Martyrs’ Stadium in Kinshasa, Congo, on 2nd February 2023. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)