Synod may not reflect reality of North Africa, say church leaders
Published: September 22, 2009
TUNIS, Tunisia (CNS) -- As the 2009 Synod of Bishops for Africa approaches, some portions of the African church do not find their experiences or issues reflected in the synod's themes, but at least one bishop believes North Africans can offer something unique to synod discussions. Primarily in North Africa, bishops, their clergy and pastoral workers have said that while the Oct. 4-25 synod is well-intentioned, the Vatican does not seem to recognize the different issues that characterize North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Among those concerned that their situation will not be represented are Catholics in Africa's Maghreb region -- Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia -- as well as Libya and Mauritania. Tunisian Bishop Maroun Lahham told Catholic News Service that CERNA, the regional bishops' conference of North Africa, sent a letter to synod planners urging that the unique situation of the church in the Maghreb be taken into account. He said that although "the Maghreb is geographically in Africa, it's another reality totally." When Vatican officials speak of Africa, he said, "it's black Africa," not the northern countries.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .