The pope does not look on
The message that Benedict XVI conveys is demanding, but at the same time it is energising. It asks the Christians of Africa to be committed to the service of reconciliation, justice and peace on their continent as well as throughout the universal Church. Many of the priorities that we see in the apostolic exhortation Africae Munus pertain to the secular sphere. This means that they concern the lay faithful in a special way and that they extend an invitation for renewal in ecclesial and civil commitment.
It is against this background that the Pontifical Council for the Laity is organising a second Pan-african congress of Catholic laity. It will be held in Yaoundé in
The main objective is to sustain the lay faithful at a time when
With the Congress less than a year away, the Pontifical Council for the Laity is involved in studying the magisterium and looking at the ecclesial and civil challenges facing the African lay faithful at this time in history. An ad hoc group of experts have been invited to help the dicastery in the preparation of the event. Since December 2010, representatives of ecclesial associations and movements present in
The Congress is expected to have about three hundred delegates from bishops’ conferences and associations and movements from all over
“The Church as God’s Family” (ibid., no. 7) is the ecclesial context in which the congress will take place. The co-responsibility of the lay faithful in building up communion will be an important point for discussion. This will include the subject of the new ecclesial movements and communities that are present on the continent.
Special attention will be given to the commitment of the lay faithful in the many areas of public life and in the efforts being made to achieve justice, peace and reconciliation. This topic will take up the whole of the last day of the Congress.