North Africans Critique Synod Paper

As preparations continue for the Synod of Bishops for Africa in October, some portions of the African church are concerned that their experiences are not reflected in the synod’s instrumentum laboris, or working document. Bishops, clergy and pastoral workers in North Africa say that the Vatican does not seem to recognize that they face different challenges than sub-Saharan Africa. Among those concerned are Catholics in Africa’s Maghreb region, which includes Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as Catholics in Libya and Mauritania. According to Bishop Maroun Lahham of Tunisia (right), the North African bishops’ conference had sent a letter to the synod planners urging them to take into account the unique situation of the church in the north. Yet when Bishop Lahham read the working paper for the synod, he said, “I have to say I didn’t find myself or this church” reflected in them.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Even in our relationships with family and friends, forgiveness can be hard to come by.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, Chile, the Vatican announced on March 23.
Gerard O’ConnellMarch 23, 2019
Sister Bibiana Emenaha
A combination of a rapidly growing population, extreme poverty, unemployment and armed conflict push people to cross Nigeria’s porous borders in search of a better life.
Linus UnahMarch 22, 2019
As we come to grips with a national history of violence, greed and racialized privilege, this fable of noblesse oblige rings hollow.
Brandon SanchezMarch 22, 2019