THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
THE SPIRITUAL AND THE SOCIAL
July 17, 2018
It is as we have always said, that our basic mission, which
is the mission of the Church, is to evangelize. Thus, while
we are to be mindful of the poor, and indeed we have our No
One in Need (NONe) work, values formation and renewal in Christ
are at the core of it. We are to help bring all to Christ.
For us, social work that does not specifically proclaim Christ
and bring people to salvation does not fulfill the will and
plan of God.
- "Evangelization is the essential mission of the Church"
says Archbishop Rugambwa to the Bishops of AMECEA
Monday, 16 July 2018
Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - "Remain
anchored in the proper mission of the Church".
This is the exhortation delivered by the Most Rev. ProtaseRugambwa,
Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples,
to the participants in the 19th Plenary Assembly of the Association
of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA)
in his opening speech, yesterday, Sunday, July 15th.
Recognizing that the Churches in the AMECEA region must face
major challenges such as conflicts, divisions, violations
of human dignity, Bishop Rugambwa stressed that although "addressing
such challenges and looking for relevant solutions is, undoubtedly,
an integral part of the Church’s evangelizing ministry".
"However, it is worth remembering that the
Church should accomplish her social apostolate without straying
away from her essential vocation and mission – namely,
to bring the Gospel to the world and to bring people to Christ,
in other words: to evangelize".
"One of the best ways to make an impact on social life
is through educating and forming mature Christians capable
of effectively addressing the current challenges that our
region is facing", said Bishop Rugambwa.
"The Churches of AMACEA must be credible witnesses of
the Gospel by promoting peace and harmony, first of all within
them", added Mgr. Rugambwa, recalling that "ethnic
conflicts have divided not only our societies but also our
presbyterates, our religious institutes, even our Episcopal
Such conflicts have caused much suffering and even public
scandal in some parts of our continent.
This is why the Church in Africa feels, more than ever before,
challenged by the specific responsibility of healing such
divisions, starting from within the Church". To overcome
the divisions "our diversity should be acknowledged as
positive and, indeed, as something to be cherished and harnessed",
The Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of
Peoples recalled the pillars on which the Church affirms that
peace must be built: respect for human dignity; promotion
of integral human development; opposition to the arms race;
support for international organizations; forgiveness.
Finally, Bishop Rugambwa recalled that "the canonization
of Blessed Pope Paul VI is set for this coming October. Paul
VI is one of the Popes who manifested great love for Africa.
His canonization will take place just a few months ahead of
the 50th Anniversary of SECAM, which he himself personally
launched in 1969, in Kampala".
"As we look forward to these two events, I wonder if
this meeting would not be a fitting opportunity to revisit
Pope Paul VI’s message to the Church in Africa. One
of the valuable documents with which he expressed his concern
for Africa is his 1967 Apostolic Letter AfricaeTerranum (The
Land of Africa), in which, among other things, the Pope advocated
what one could call the ‘local ownership of development’.
He also invited Africans to devise new ways of becoming missionaries
to themselves", concluded the Archbishop. (L.M.) (Agenzia
Attachment to the article
• KEYNOTE SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF THE STUDY SESSION
OF THE 19TH AMECEA PLENARY ASSEMBLY