The establishment of an Organ on Faith, Culture and Development was adopted at a Workshop in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, by participants representing the Episcopal Regions of Africa meeting from 21-24 November 2012.
Africa to set up Faith, Culture and Development Agenda
The workshop jointly organised by Department of Evangelisation of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples(CEP) and the Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC) had about sixty participants comprising Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious, Lay people, and resource persons from Africa and other parts of the world. There were also representatives from MISEREOR, Germany; African Faith & Justice Network (AFJN), USA; Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Tanzania and the Interdisciplinary Studies for the Development of African Culture at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, Italy.
In order to realise the objectives of the Organ the participants have proposed a Working Group/Steering Committee to, between now and February 2013, put in place its modalities and structures. The Committee would also draw up the legal framework-Statutes- and suggest ways and means by which the Organ would be funded, with particular reference to self-reliance.
The Working/Steering Committee would complete and submit its work to the Standing Committee of SECAM, in time, for its meeting in February 2013 in Angola. Then a Permanent Executive Committee will take over from the Steering Committee for carrying out the activities of the Organ following its ratification by the 16th Plenary Assembly of SECAM that will take place in Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of Congo, in July 2013.
The Permanent Executive Committee will include representatives of the following bodies:
a) SECAM Standing Committee;
b) SECAM Secretariat;
c) Regional Episcopal Conferences;
d) Other Experts from Catholic Universities and other Educational and Religious Institutions within and outside the Catholic Church.
During the Workshop the participants with the help of Resource Persons discussed among other issues programmes a)for facilitating dialogue between Cultures and Faith; b)Opportunities, challenges and perspectives of African Cultures and Development; c) Globalisation, d) Post-modernity, e) Good Governance, and f) African Policies for Development. And last but not the least the need to anchor or root the entire project in the Gospel.
The Workshop was also guided by the inspiration behind the need to form such an Organ on Faith, Culture and Development as contained in the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortations of the two Synods for Africa: Ecclesia in Africa (1995) and Africae Munus (2011).
His Eminence, Polycarp Cardinal Pengo, President of SECAM, officially opened the Workshop. His Eminence Theodore-Adrien Cardinal Sarr, First Vice-President of SECAM and Archbishop of Dakar, Senegal and Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, Secretary of the PCC co-chaired it.
The Workshop was preceded by a meeting of the Standing Committee of SECAM at the same venue.
This Statement released by Benedict Assorow, Director of Communications, SECAM
The various talks given by the Resource Persons, related documents and photos are available on the Website of SECAM