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Press release

LIFE BREAD PEACE FREEDOM. For a prosperous, peaceful and reconciled AFRICA •Dakar, 19-23 January 2011

AFRICA/SENEGAL – Obstacles to evangelisation and human promotion in Africa: FIAC meeting concludes

Dakar (Agenzia Fides) – Poverty and social injustice, bad governance, the persistent insecurity, the bad start to democracy in many Countries, the corruption, the urgency of reconciliation and the integral formation of the person. These are the challenges to evangelization and the affirmation of human dignity which were analysed at the fourth West African Continental Meeting of the International Forum for Catholic Action (FIAC) which concluded on 23 January in Dakar, Senegal (see Fides 19/1/2011).
According to information sent to Fides, the meeting on the theme: “Life, bread, peace and liberty. For a prosperous, peaceful, reconciled Africa” was attended by 100 representative from Catholic Action Movements in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, together with members of the international FIAT Secretariat from four countries (Italy, Spain, Romania and Burundi).
At the end of the meeting, attendees took on the commitment to particularly “promote and defend Christian values in all areas of life,” and “to get to know better and wisely and coherently integrate our cultures in light of the Gospel”, to promote “interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue” and reflection “on ecclesiality, laicism, organicity and collaboration with the Hierarchy: the four notes of the “Apostolicam Actuositatem” (no. 20) that characterize the Catholic Action Movement.
The lay members of Catholic Action in Western Africa recommended to the ecclesiastical hierarchy to “promote the formation of the laity for greater effectiveness of the Church’s mission” and to “create a synergy of reflection and action, at all levels, among Pastors, consecrated and lay people, based on joint responsibility in communion,” without forgetting to “provide the structures for the coordination of the lay apostolate for subsequent human, material and financial resources to achieve its goals.” They also called them to “create the conditions for dialogue with politicians and leaders of civil society in order to promote the common good and the rule of law.” The Secretariat of the IFCA, finally, was requested to continue to “promote this type of formation seminar at international, continental, regional and diocesan levels.”
FIAC remembered Bishop Jacques Sarr of Thiès and President of the Episcopal Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity in Senegal, who died on 18 January (see Fides 21/01/2011), as “a man of God totally dedicated to serving the Church, who had a vision of hope for Africa.” (LM)

AFRICA/SENEGAL – IV continental FIAC Meeting for Western Africa opens today

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Dakar (Agenzia Fides) – The West African Continental Meeting of the International Forum for Catholic Action (FIAC) opens today, on the theme: “Life, bread, peace and liberty. For a prosperous, peaceful, reconciled Africa”. According to information sent to Fides, representatives from the Catholic Action Movement in Benin, Burkina Fasu, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Niger, are meeting to discuss the options opened up by the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, held in the Vatican in 2009, and on the specific role of the laity at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace on the African continent. Senegal, host country, will be represented by 70 attendees from 7 dioceses. Also present will be representatives from FIAC in Italy, Spain and Romania. Among others participating will be: Card. Théodore-Adrien Sarr, Arcivescovo di Dakar; Bishop Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio in Senegal, Capo Verde, Guinea Bissau and Apostolic Delegate in Mauritania; Bishop Giorgio Biguzzi of Makeni (Sierra Leone); Bishop Barthélemy Adoukonou, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The meeting will close on 23 January, and continues a series of continental meetings organised by FIAC throughout 2010 in preparation for the VI Ordinary Assembly, planned for August 2012. (SL)