Vatican City, 13 July 2013 (VIS) – The African bishops have concluded the 26th plenary meeting of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), calling upon the political leaders of the continent to work not in their own interests, but for the benefit of all the African population. The theme of the plenary was “The Church, the family of God in Africa at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace”, and its aim was to adopt new pastoral orientations for reconciliation through the Gospel.
The prelates, who met in Kinshasa, Congo, from 9 to 14 July, invited Africans to commit themselves urgently to the struggle for a just social order and to enable the rights proper to human dignity to be enjoyed by all, in all areas of life. They also called for an end to the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that has been destroying the country for years and which has caused millions of deaths and serious human rights violations, in addition to the rape of thousands of women and girls. “We cannot remain silent before a drama which appears to have been forgotten”, said the bishops. “We launch an urgent appeal to the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the governments of other countries in any way involved to take resolute action to bring an end to this war which has already lasted too long”.
The bishops also focused on the situations in the Central African Republic, the countries of the Horn of Africa, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunisia and Egypt.