A post-synodal consultation organized by Caritas Africa and the Justice and Peace Department of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in Maputo from 23 to 26 May 2010 agreed to make women, peace building and good governance key priorities.
This event was meant, “in the setting of a joint reflection on the outcomes of the 2nd Synod for Africa, to help offices of Caritas Africana and Justice and Peace Commissions of local Churches discover pathways of collaborating to harmoniously serve their local Churches”, said the guest of honour His Eminence Peter Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome, in his keynote address.
The gathering in Maputo was to take forward the outcomes of the Africa Synod last year in Rome through the identification of priority issues.
For Jacques Dinan, Caritas Africa Executive Secretary and President of Caritas Mauritius, important progress has been made thanks to this meeting.
“We have elaborated an action plan to harmonize the work of African Caritas organizations and Justice and Peace Commissions at a national and regional level. This conference has also contributed to a more profound recognition of Caritas within Justice and Peace Commissions,” he said.
Africa has been described as “a continent of opportunities” by world leaders and companies recalled Cardinal Turkson, but “this needs to be true also for the people of the continent”.
In particular, the following objectives have been identified by the participants: the Church should address the needs of modern society adequately and reach out more to marginalized groups, especially women, young people, people living with disabilities and the poorest of the poor. It needs to engage in political issues to bring real change, but should avoid being partisan. Reconciliation, justice and peace must furthermore be high on the agendas of all dioceses.
In some African countries, Justice and Peace Commissions still need to be created. This will be done following the conference. Working together in close cooperation, we will then be able to multiply the impact of our actions and create important synergies,” said Mr. Dinan.