2014 Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures
2014 MARSHALL MOREAU MURAT MEMORIAL LECTURES
DELIVERED BY HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL PETER APPIAH TURKSON
PRESIDENT: PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
At the College of Science Auditorium Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi 13th 14th August 2014
Under the Auspices of the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall
KNIGHTS AND LADIES OF MARSHALL FOUNDED 1926
2014 MARSHALL- MOREAU- MURAT MEMORIAL LECTURES
Delivered by: His Eminence Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson President: Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
A CHRISTIAN AND A CITIZEN IN CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS: THE POST SYNOD EXHORTATION, “AFRICAE MUNUS” AND CHRISTIAN SOCIAL COMMITMENT
August 13-14, 2014 College of Science Auditorium, KNUST, Kumasi
The Lectures were co-chaired by Most Rev. Gabriel Yaw Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi, and Sir Kt. Bro. Kantinka Dr. Kwame Donkor Fordwor.
Published by the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall,
P.O. Box 175, Sekondi, Ghana. September 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DAY ONE – AUGUST 13, 2014
- Welcome Address
- “Africae” Munus” in the Life of the Church
-From the first Special Assembly (1st African Synod) to the second Special Assembly (2nd African Synod) “Church – Family of God” as “Servant of reconciliation, justice and peace”
-Serving reconciliation, justice and peace – needs: The Way of the Shepherd
DAY TWO – AUGUST 14, 2014 (PART I)
- The African Church goes to a Second Synod
- Africa must live by faith and hope
- The globalized context of hope-in-action and the need for Partnerships
- Partnerships and commitments, the significance of “Hope-in-action”
- Building blocks as attitudinal postures
- Attitudinal postures as competencies
WELCOME ADDRESS BY
SIR KNIGHT BRO. JOSEPH EKOW PAINTSIL,
- Chairpersons, Your Grace Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye, and Sir Knight Bro. Kantinka Dr. Kwame Donkoh Fordwor,
- His Eminence Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,
- Your Grace Archbishops, My Lord Bishops,
- Representative of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene,
- Representative of the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis,
- Past Supreme Knights and Most Respected Ladies,
- Worthy Brothers and Respected Ladies,
- Representative of the Knights of St. John International and Ladies Auxiliary
- Brothers and Sisters,
- Distinguished Guests,
- Media Houses Here Present,
- All Other Protocol Observed.
In 1925, some enthusiastic young men of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Sekondi, began planning the formation of a purely Catholic Friendly Society in West Africa for the purpose of bringing together Catholic men for effective lay apostolate and Catholic Action and also provide a friendly social forum for Catholic men . The membership of the Noble order (then known as Association of Charity) has grown phenomenally from the original thirteen foundation members in 1926 to over ten thousand members currently in Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and London. On behalf of the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall, and on my own behalf, I am pleased to welcome you all to the 2014 Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures, the first in the series of thirteen Lectures that is being held in Kumasi. We are honoured to have in our midst Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, Your Grace Archbishops, My Lord Bishops, the Representative of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and a number of dignitaries. We are privileged to have His Eminence Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson to deliver the 2014 Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures on “A Christian and A Citizen in Church – State Relations”.
I sincerely thank Otumfuo for the hospitality accorded us since we arrived here in this beautiful city. I also thank the Brothers and Sisters in the Ashanti Region for the warm reception. We are grateful to all those who have made the 2014 Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures possible. Your efforts will be duly acknowledged at the appropriate time during this meeting. The Knights and Ladies of Marshall have instituted these biennial Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures to honour the memory of Sir James Marshall and Rev. Fathers Auguste Moreau and Eugene Murat, of the Society of African Missions (SMA) who contributed immensely to the establishment of the Catholic Mission in the Gold Coast (Ghana).
James Marshall was a very devout Anglican Clergyman with personal love for Our Lord Jesus Christ and deep habits of prayer who chose to become a Catholic on account of his tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his ardent desire to steadfastly pray to Our Lady and accept her as Mother. He also considered himself totally committed to acceptance of Papal Supremacy. As a Catholic layman he studied to become a lawyer and accepted senior positions in the Judiciary Service of the Gold Coast (Ghana) and Nigeria ranging from Chief Magistrate and Judicial Assessor to Chief Justice in the latter part of the 19th Century. He used his position to become a faithful, fearless and a very strong advocate for the Catholic Church in the Gold Coast in particular. He was most instrumental in having Propaganda Fide, Rome assign the Gold Coast to the Society of African Missions as earlier stated. What separated Sir James Marshall from the rest of his peers was his ability and drive to combine his official career with concerted efforts that propagated the Catholic Faith on the West Coast of Africa during those early and critical years of missionary work in the Gold Coast and Nigeria. Apart from championing the cause of the early missionaries in the Gold Coast and Lagos, he is credited with immense contribution towards the foundation of the Catholic Mission in Asaba, Eastern Nigeria.
Fathers Auguste Moreau and Eugene Murat arrived in Elmina on 18th May, 1880. They applied themselves diligently to their work but unfortunately three months after their arrival in the Gold Coast, Father Eugene died. Father Auguste Moreau was undaunted and carried out his evangelizing work under very difficult circumstances which were well-documented in some of Sir James Marshall’s publications on problems that confronted the early Catholic Missionaries in the Gold Coast and Nigeria. Nevertheless Father Moreau made good progress and was (IN THE WORDS OF MARSHALL): “asked to open Missions at several towns. But like Father Chausse in Nigeria he has neither the men, nor the means to comply with these petitions of nations for the Catholic Church to be brought among them”. Father Auguste Moreau also died in the Gold Coast in 1886, six years after his arrival in Elmina.
In conclusion, I wish to reaffirm the Noble Order’s desire to mainstream the outcomes of the 2014 Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures into the work of the Order for the next biennium in particular. The over two hundred Adult Councils and Courts of the Noble Order will be encouraged to incorporate some of the ideas engendered at these 2014 Lectures in their teachings, advocacy, lay apostolate and Catholic Action. Once again I wish you all a special welcome.
CARDINAL PETER APPIAH TURKSON
CARDINAL PETER APPIAH TURKSON
is Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson was born on 11 October 1948 in Nsuta Wassaw (in the Western region of Ghana, Africa). On 20 July 1975, Peter Turkson was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales in Cape Coast, Ghana. Eighteen years later, in the same Cathedral, he was ordained and installed as the Archbishop of Cape Coast, on 27 March 1993. On 28 September 2003, Pope John Paul II named him to the Sacred College of Cardinals, and he was created a Cardinal in the public Consistory of 21 October 2003 at the Vatican.
His Eminence Peter K. A. Turkson studied at St. Teresa’s Seminary in Amisano, from 1962 to 1967. From 1969 to 1971, he studied at the regional Seminary of St. Peter in Pedu. Later he traveled to the United States for further studies in theology at St. Anthony’s on Hudson, in Rensselaer, NY. Five years later, he was assigned to study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, first for a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (1976—1980); and again in 1987, to complete a doctorate in Sacred Scripture, during which time he was nominated to be the Archbishop of Cape Coast, in 1993.
He served on the faculty of St. Teresa’s Seminary of Amisano, and of St. Peter’s Regional Seminary in Pedu. He also served
2014 MARSHALL-MOREAU- MURAT MEMORIAL LECTURES
as part-time Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies at UCC, Cape Coast (1981-1987), and as visiting Lecturer at the Catholic Major Seminary of Anyama, Côte d’Ivoire (19831986). During those years, Father Turkson also served as Chaplain for the Catholic Community of the University of Cape Coast (1984 – 1986).
As the Archbishop of Cape Coast, His Eminence was President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (1997-2004); Chancellor of the Catholic University of Ghana; and an appointed member of several institutions of the Roman Curia: the Pontifical Commission for Methodist-Catholic Dialogue (1997—2007); the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (2002—present); the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church (2002—present); the Pontifical Congregation for Divine Worship (2005—present); the International Secretariat of the Pontifical Mission Societies (2006—present); and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (2007—2009).
He has been a member of the Governing Council of the University of Ghana in Legon (2001 to 2006); a member of the Board of Directors of CEDECOM (2002–present); Treasurer of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) (2007—present); Chairman of the Ghana Chapter of The Conference of Religions for Peace, (2003—2007); and Chairman of the Ghana National Peace Council (2006—present).
Cardinal Turkson was the Vice President of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA) from 2004; and when AECAWA merged with its Francophone counterpart, the Conférence Épiscopale de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CERAO), he served as its first President from 2007 to date. He also serves as the Honorary President of the World Conference of
Religions for Peace (WCRP), and is a member of the Association of Ghana Biblical Exegetes.
Throughout his years as an Archbishop and a Cardinal, he has received numerous honours and awards, including: honorary degrees from the University of Ghana in Legon; the University of Education in Winneba; and Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, Indiana, USA; the Order of the Star, a national honour of the Republic of Ghana; the Order of the Rock, from the Anomabo Traditional Area in Central Region of Ghana; and elected Fellow of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.
He has published several articles, including: “Inculturation: a Biblical Perspective”, in: Inculturation (eds. Peter Turkson and Frans Wijsen, KTC, Kampen 1994, 1-9); and “The Evangelization in Africa”, in: John Paul II and the New Evangelization (eds. Ralph Martin and Peter Williamson, Servant Books, Cincinnati 2006 pg. 94-111).
His Eminence Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson speaks fluent Fante, English, French, Italian, German, Hebrew.
Source: Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace website, Vatican
A CHRISTIAN AND A CITIZEN IN CHURCH – STATE RELATIONS: The Post Synod Exhortation, “Africae Munus” and Christian Social Commitment
My Lord Archbishops,
Oheneba Adusei Poku, Akyempemhene representing Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene Nana Bantamahene, The Provost of KNUST,
representing the Vice Chancellor,
Very Monsignors, Rev. Fathers, Religious Brothers and Sisters, Knights and Ladies of Marshall, Distinguished invited Guests, My Brothers and Sisters
2014 MARSHALL-MOREAU- MURAT MEMORIAL LECTURES
thank the Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall for the invitation to deliver this year’s version of the Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial Lectures; and with my sentiments of gratitude come my warm felicitations for institutionalizing the memory of the beginnings of Catholic missionary evangelization in our country. This institutionalized memory and the just concluded Pastoral Congress in Sunyani on New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith in Ghana in the light of “Africae Munus” make me want to consider how the three parameters, proposed by the 2nd Synod for Africa for New evangelization, namely, service to reconciliation, justice and peace, may also inspire and engender forms of Christian engagement in society for the Marshallan Christian and Citizen. This will reflect our effort to lend credence to the universal ecclesial value of the II Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa1 and suggest an application of its fruits gathered in the post-Synod Exhortation, Africae Munus.
As you may know, on 19th. November 2011 and in the chapel of the Major Seminary at Ouidah, Benin, Pope Benedict signed the post-Synod Exhortation, Africae munus, making the fruits of the 2nd. Synod for Africa part of the universal Magisterium (teaching office) of the Church. Barely two days after Pope Benedict XVI had signed the post-Synod Exhortation, Africae Munus, the Standing Committee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) gathered the African clergy (Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Religious)
The II Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa will henceforth be referred to simply as “2nd Synod for Africa”.
who had joined the Pope on his visit to Benin in a meeting to discuss the implementation of the newly-signed post-Synod Exhortation (Africae Munus). The African prelates left Cotonou resolved to find efficient and effective ways for the dissemination and implementation of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict
XVI: Africae Munus.2
I trust that the same resolve for implementation will greet the profiles of Christian social commitment which we shall attempt to describe together in Africae Munus tonight.
“AFRICAE MUNUS” IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH
he place and the significance of the post-Synod Exhortation, Africae Munus, as the gathering of the fruits of the II Special Assembly for Africa, within the Church3 is easily determined by the resonances between the Exhortation and other documents and events of the universal Church which constituted the setting of the 2nd. Synod for Africa and affected the composition of the post-Synod Exhortation. These events (and documents) are:
2 An excellent summary of the post-synod exhortation, Africae Munus, by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, the General Secretary of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, is available at (http://www.radiovaticana.net/en3/Articolo. asp?c=539346)
3 Pope Benedict XVI’s clear affirmation of the significance of the Special Assemblies for the universal Church is clear in Africae Munus: The Special Assembly dealt with problems facing “their particular churches and the universal Church” (§4). The Pope calls upon the whole Church to look to Africa with faith and hope (§5); and the image, Church-family of God, is significant for the universal Church ( 7,8).
For the purposes of this lecture: its brevity and easy listening, we shall consider more fully the influences on Africae Munus of the I Special Assembly for Africa (1st. Synod for Africa),
4 Already, during his visit to Angola to deliver the instrumentum Laboris of the II Special Assembly, Pope Benedict XVI, pointed to the Eucharist and the Word of life as source of “light and nourishment” for Africa’s mission of service to reconciliation, justice and peace. (Address of the Holy Father….: Meeting with the Special Council of the Synod for Africa. Yaoundé, 19 March 2009). Cf. too, Africae Munus, § 109, 152-154.
5 The first chapter of Africae Munus identifies servants of reconciliation, justice and peace as also “authentic servants of God’s Word” (§ 15). Similarly, to the various agents of the Spirit’s charism for the common good in part II of the Exhortation are recommended various ways of feeding on the Word of God. Cf. too, § 150-151.
6 Cf. Africae Munus, §108
7 Thus, Africae Munus, §2 affirms that New Evangelization was already the aim of the I Special Assembly for Africa.
the papal travels in Africa before and after the holding of the Synod: before the synod to deliver the Instrumentum laboris of the Synod and after the synod to sign and to promulgate the post- synod exhortation, and the first social encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate. Only passing references will be made to the other ecclesial events and documents.
From the I Special Assembly (1st African Synod) to the II Special Assembly (2nd African Synod)
Benedict XVI is explicit in Africae Munus about his intention that the 2nd. Synod for Africa should continue the 1st. Synod for Africa of 1994.8 Accordingly, the 1st. Synod, which was called a “synod of Resurrection and hope”,9 lead to a 2nd Synod, which in turn was called a “synod of a new Pentecost”,10 just as Pentecost follows after Easter. Similarly, “Africa’s commitment to the Lord Jesus” (Africae Munus) which in the 2nd Synod for Africa did inspire the task of the African Church as service to
8 Africae munus, §1
9 Cf. SPECIAL ASSEMBLY FOR AFRICA OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Message of the Synod (6 May 1994), 2; EIA., 13, 57.
10 The Holy Father, reflecting on the words of the opening song of the midmorning prayer: “nunc, sancte, nobis Spiritus”, at the first gathering of the synod assembly, said: “We pray that Pentecost may not only be an event of the past, at the very beginning of the Church, but that it may be today, indeed, ‘nunc, sancte, nobis Spiritus.’” He went on then to exhort the synod assembly: “Let us pray the Lord to give us the Holy Spirit, that he may inspire a new Pentecost and help us to be his servants in the world at this time”. ( Reflection of His Holiness Benedict XVI during the First General Congregation, 5 October 2009). Cf. too, Africae Munus,: “They (Christians) are called to cooperate with the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that the miracle of Pentecost may spread…… and everyone may become ….. an apostle of reconciliation, justice and peace” ( §176).
reconciliation, justice and peace,11 was the same commitment which had inspired in the 1st Synod for Africa the theological characterization of the Church as family of God.12 A statement of characterization or identity (church-family of God) in the 1st. Synod lead to a statement of task or mission in the 2nd. Synod for Africa, as service to reconciliation, justice and peace; and it is these tasks that we wish to present as possible forms of engagement in the social order as citizens, but most importantly, as Christians (Knights and Ladies).
“Church-Family of God” as “Servant of reconciliation, justice and peace”
The first synod of Bishops for Africa enriched our understanding of the Church by considering her a family of God. The image of church-family of God is first and foremost one that describes communion and integration as the basic identity of the Church. The Church-family of God is a reality in communion: in communion with God and in communion with one another.13
In this light, the theme of the 2nd. Synod for Africa follows upon that of that of the 1st. Synod as an expression of mission (task=munus) for a church-family of God whose identity and nature is communion.
It becomes immediately evident that there is a dialectic tension between the identity and the mission of the Church; and that it is in dealing with this dialectic tension that the Church in Africa realizes her historical character and begins to respond to her true character and identity as church-family of God and the (fraternal) body of Christ.
In the 2nd. Synod for Africa, the Church in Africa recognized that she becomes truly the family of God and the brotherhood of Christ to the extent that she promotes an African Church and society in which people are reconciled and integrated over and above their tribal and ethnic ties, their racial and cast determinations, and their marginalization.14 The Church in Africa recognized that she can become truly the family of God she claims to be only to the extent that she becomes and promotes a society that lives in communion and enjoys peace. In other words, church-family of God realizes her nature and identity as family and brotherhood to the extent that she causes “family”, “brotherhood”, “communion” and “belongingness” to happen: to the extent that she becomes incarnate on earth (inculturates) in the Christian communities, in human society and in human history as members of a family in communion and fully belonging. Indeed, the Church in Africa must be the historical form (face) of the Kingdom of God on the continent; and the Church cannot have an identity that does not become historical and real in history. So, the invitation to the church-family of God in Africa by the Synod theme to be servants of reconciliation, justice and peace (as salt of the earth and light of the world) is a challenge to the Church in Africa to live up to her nature in the historical
Thus, when the Pope met with the Bishops of Cameroon, he exhorted to communion, saying:”In this way, the faithful are led to grasp the fact that the Church is truly God’s family, gathered in brotherly love; this leaves no room for ethnocentrism or factionalism, and it contributes towards reconciliation and cooperation among ethnic groups for the good of all” (Address of the Holy Father Benedict XVI Meeting with the Bishops of Cameroon, 18 March 2009).
and concrete life of the continent by promoting communion and integration through reconciliation, justice and peace. It is a challenge to historical relevance and to concrete witness of identity (to inculturate) in the life and experiences of the continent: the promotion of the family virtues of belongingness, integration and communion through reconciliation, justice and peace.
Indeed, the image and identity of the church as family of God, cannot be a mere affirmation, it must engender a mission, an action and a ministry; for, as the Holy Father observed in the opening mass of the 2nd. Synod for Africa, it is ideological to merely make proposals without moving on to action (fare proposte senza passare all’ azione è un’ ideologia). This means that, to merely affirm that the Church is the family of God, as the 1st. Synod did, without committing to making it really so in the Churches we belong to and in the societies we live in is ideological. That is why, reflecting on the theme of the Synod with the Roman Curia, as a mission-statement for the Church in Africa, the Holy Father observed: “The task of Bishops was to transform theology into pastoral care, namely into a very concrete pastoral ministry in which the great perspectives found in sacred Scripture and Tradition find application in the activity of Bishops and priests in specific times and places.”15 The practical application of this theological understanding of the Church as family of God must now take the form of committing to what it takes to make our Churches and nation (society) places of communion, inclusive belongingness, warmth of relationship and solidarity. In the language of the 2nd. Synod, our Churches and their Christians must now commit to serving the reconciliation-needs, the justice-needs and the peace-
Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Members of the Roman Curia….., 21 Dec. 2009; Africae munus, § 10. Cf. too, Africae munus §14.
needs of our Churches and nation, as salt of the earth and light of the world.
Serving reconciliation, justice and peace- needs: The Way of the Shepherd
The Church, like the nation, is a body (= family), whose members live in communion with God and with one another. Indeed, communion after the manner of the life of the Trinity, is the life of the Church and human society. Between God and man communion is a life of relationship which is engendered by God’s gratuitous initiative of the covenant. This life of relationship is based on justice; and when justice is respected, there is peace. The co-existence of people in society (political co-existence) present the same situation in which justice becomes the basis of their relationships for a harmonious and peaceful co-existence.
Often rendered in the Bible as righteousness, justice is essentially a relationship-term. It is what qualifies a person to be in relationship; for it is essentially to respect the demands of the relationship in which one stands16: creature before a God-creator, husband before wife, wife before husband, children before parents, parents before children, citizens before Government, Government before citizens, workers and supervisors, management and workers, a person before his/her neighbour etc. When one respects the demands of the relationship in which one stands, then one is just! The unjust/wicked (rasha’) is one who does not respect or honour the demands of a relationship he/she stands in, and so breaks relationships. With
16 Cf. The Scholastic sense of “giving one what is his/her due”.
God, this is when one sins against God, infringing upon his covenant terms. With men and in a family and nation, since the family is by nature a community based on mutual trust, mutual support and sincere respect, it is when people become offensive in conduct and behaviour, oppressive of others and breaking trust etc.
When, then, one infringes on God’s covenant, disrespecting the demands of his covenant, one becomes unjust before God, making himself unworthy/unfit for a life of relationship with God. The relationship is broken. A similar thing happens when people break trust and respect, offending against one another. They break relationships. When relationships are broken and communion destroyed, it is reconciliation that repairs and restores them. Reconciliation, however it is celebrated: generous offer of pardon, a judiciary process, the palaver system, ADRs etc., re-introduces people into relationships, making them fit again for relationships. That is the reason why, reconciliation is also referred to in Scriptures as justification: people are justified, made just again, and, therefore, fit again for relationships. Only just (righteous) people, then, can be in and stay in relationships. Thus by restoring justice, and thereby repairing and mending relationships, reconciliation also repairs and maintains communion; and the fruit is the harmony of peace! “Reconciled to live in communion”: this is really the life of the Church and a very common experience we make as members of the human community. That is why the African Synod proposes service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace as parameters of the new evangelization; and that is why we wish to propose the same services as forms of our concrete engagement for the improvement of life in society.
Now, the transformation of theology into pastoral care: into concrete pastoral ministry, requires an “experience” and a “method”. On the one hand, underlying and most fundamental to all forms of ministry and living the implications of our faith in the social order is the faith experience of the ecclesial community itself. Responding to God’s revelation of his love and truth in Jesus, people are transformed by the power of God’s Word and re-socialized by His love in the Holy Spirit. This new social reality, the ecclesial community or any part of it proclaims the love and truth of the Trinitarian life which surrounds it.17 From this experience, people become subjects of love and of truth, called to become agents of reconciliation, justice and peace. On the other hand, this identity and experience of the Church and her members need to be borne out in their engagements with the realities of the social order, and to respond to the various situations of political, economic, social, religious, ethnic-tribal, environmental, cultural and resource abuses on the continent; and this requires a method: what must be done to inculturate the particular identity of the Church and her faithful in the current social order? How do we witness to our faith and the charity of Christ in our world and the social order?
The 2nd. Synod grappled with the issue; and the post-Synod Exhortation (Africae Munus) recalls it. The theme of the 2nd. Synod for Africa, “the church in Africa in service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace”, indeed, had to do with human life in society; but it was not a political theme, at least not primarily so. The theme was a theological and a pastoral one: one which fulfilled, on the one hand, the image of “Church-family of God” of the 1st. Synod for Africa, and called, on the other hand, on pastors to
17 Caritas in veritate, § 54. In the light of the revealed mystery of the Trinity, we
understand that true openness does not mean loss of individual identity but
transform theology into pastoral care, as observed above.
Accordingly, just as the Holy Father found reason to remind the synod that it was not primarily “a study session”, so did the synod fathers also repeatedly remind themselves that their gathering was not a “a type of the United Nations General Assembly, where some political line of action was to be discussed and adopted.
All the same, the one clear lesson that one learns from the experiences of local churches in Latin America and their applications of the theology of liberation is that: addressing the justice- and peace-needs of oppressed and badly wounded peoples is a very tricky business, and a rather tight rope to walk in a field of political and ideological landmines! Local churches in Latin America and, indeed, also in Africa and Asia, know of priests (pastors) who have forsaken the pastoral ministry to pursue political options. In the face of looming and widespread injustices, some pastors have preferred to be politicians and political leaders, believing more in political solutions than in pastoral solutions to the miseries of their communities.18
But, the Synod preferred to see her pastors and faithful, as servants of the Holy Spirit, engage in society, as servants of reconciliation, justice and peace, in the manner of shepherds and elders of a family. Accordingly, addressing his collaborators in the Roman Curia, the Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) asked: “Did the Synod Fathers succeed in finding the rather narrow path between mere theological theory and immediate political action, the ‘path of the shepherd’”? He continued: “In my brief address at the end of the Synod I answered this question in the affirmative,
18 Cf. Idem, § 102, 108
in a conscious and explicit way”.19 What, then, is this “way of the shepherd”?
To begin with, the “way of the shepherd” is an image which clearly distinguishes between the role of the pastor or elder of a family and the role of the lay faithful or the members of the family, although together they form the Church. On this distinction of roles between the pastor and the lay faithful, and its implications for the Church’s presence and activities in society, Pope Benedict XVI is explicit. “It is worth repeating that, while a distinction must be made between the role of pastors and that of the lay faithful, the church’s mission is not political in nature. Her task is to open the world to the religious sense by proclaiming Christ.”20 For the same reason, the Church does not seek to interfere in any way in the politics of the state.
The political question in Church and State relationship is deeply rooted in teachings about Church-State relationship that the Popes, from Pope Leo XIII on, have passionately taught. The Church and the State are distinct, but without either being extraneous — much less opposed — to the other.
It was Christianity that did introduce the novelty, completely original in character, of distinguishing between political power and religious power, following its understanding of the human person as created body and spirit. Accordingly, the Church has always maintained her freedom of speech and action, and her autonomy before political power, which she respects and whose respect she promotes, especially, when it serves the common
19 Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Members of the Roman Curia……, 21 Dec. 2009, pg.4
20 Africae Munus, §23.
good, and w hen civil law respects natural law. Thus the Church and the State are two distinct, but inter-related spheres.
Today, we have many a State very opposed to the Church, trying to make it and keep it as extraneous as possible to society. Many still have gone amiss with this teaching of the Popes and have compartmentalized the two realities. On the one hand, the State, as they see it, is oriented to this world and this life, to which faith ought to remain extraneous. On the other hand, the Church is directed towards a purely other-worldly salvation, which neither enlightens nor directs existence on earth. This, according to Pope Leo XIII, is a “fatal principle of separation of Church and State”.21 Nothing, indeed, can be farther from the minds of the Popes than such a principle of separation. For, founded to build the Kingdom of heaven on earth rather than to acquire temporal power, the Church openly avows that the two powers — Church and State — are distinct from one another, each being supreme in its own sphere of competency. But, “though dissimilar in functions and unequal in degree”, the Church and the State “ought to live in concord by harmony in their action and the faithful discharge of their respective duties”.22
The great need for the Church and the State to live in “concord by harmony” was taken up in Pope Paul VI’s teaching on “Church – State collaboration” when he wrote, a hundred years after Pope Leo XIII: “It is of course true that the purposes of the Church and the State are of different orders, and that both
21 Encyclical letter: Libertas, §38 (20 June 1888): “La funesta opinione che la Chiesa deve essere separata dallo Stato;” .
22 Ibid. Cf. too, §45: “And the Church approves of every one devoting his services
to the common good, and doing all that he can for the defence, preservation,
and prosperity of his country”.
are perfect societies, endowed therefore with their own means, and are autonomous in their respective spheres of activity. But it is also true that both the one and the other undertake to serve the good of the same common subject, man, called by God to eternal salvation and put on earth so that he might, with the help of grace, attain unto salvation through his work, which brings him well-being in the peaceful setting of society.”23
Similarly, during his pilgrimage to Uganda in 1969, Pope Paul VI addresses the Parliament of Uganda in these words: “Have no fear of the Church; she honours you, she educates honest and loyal citizens for you, she does not foment rivalries and divisions, she seeks to promote healthy liberty, social justice, and peace. If she has any preference at all, it is for the poor, for the education of little ones and of the people, for the care
“È ben vero che le finalità della Chiesa e dello Stato sono di ordine diverso e che ambedue sono società perfette, dotate, quindi, di mezzi propri, e sono indipendenti nella rispettiva sfera d›azione, ma è anche vero che l›una e l›altro agiscono a beneficio di un soggetto comune, l›uomo, da Dio chiamato alla salvezza eterna e posto sulla terra per permettergli, con l›aiuto della grazia, di conseguirla con una vita di lavoro, che porti a lui benessere, nella pacifica convivenza con i suoi simili.” (Apostolic Letter, Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum, 24 Giugno, 1969). To the parliament of Uganda, the Pontiff presented the separation between the Church and State/Society as follows: “We avail Ourselves of this opportunity also to declare to you what the Catholic Church does, and what she does not do, on this Continent – and, indeed, wherever she carries on her mission. The Church thanks you for your recognition of her freedom: freedom to exist, and to fulfill her mission. She appreciates this freedom, which means independence in her proper domain, the religious domain; which also means her autonomy in religious matters, together with respect for the political authority. She has no temporal interests of her own; she does not engage in politics in the proper sense of the term; she renders to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (cf. Mt. 22, 21)……. The Church does not make her faithful sons strangers to civil life and national interests; on the contrary, she trains and engages them in the service of the public good (cf. Gaudium et Spes, No. 75, etc.)” (Address to the Parliament of Uganda, Kampala, 1 August 1969).
of the suffering and abandoned.24 The Church does not make her faithful sons strangers to civil life and national interests; on the contrary, she trains and engages them in the service of the public good.”25
The reason Pope Paul VI gave for inviting representatives of the temporal power not to fear the Church is that the Church is an ally of society, not an enemy. She does not steal anything from society. On the contrary, the Church serves society “through its moral and practical support” by providing the “interpretation of human life in time, and beyond time.” In other words, the Church wants to share with society a treasure of evangelical inspiration and the richness of her 2000-year-old tradition of teaching and commitment to serving man and society. Recognizing the connections between evangelization and human advancement,26 the Church wants to contribute to man’s development in her own field, that “of human conscience made more aware by the Gospel message; for by the light of that message the dignity of a people is seen more clearly, and the demands arising from that dignity are recognized. Those demands have their reflection in every aspect of human life, which is elevated to the fullness of personal responsibility, and inserted into a collectivity governed by justice and love.”27 These ways of accompanying human society for its welfare with tools and expressions of her faith represent the Church’s way of the shepherd.
24 Cf. Reference to Mater et Magistra, (Introduction); Gaudium et Spes, § 42, 76, 88.
25 Address to the Parliament of Uganda, Kampala, 1 August 1969; Cf. too, Gaudium et Spes, §75 etc.
26 PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 31.
27 PAUL VI, Addressto the Parliament of Uganda, Kampala (1 August 1969).
My dear friends, these two statements of Pope Paul VI situate and help us land our attempt to invite the Marshallan Confraternity to seriously consider their positive engagement in the civic and political spheres as part of their engagement in the social order for its transformation (evangelization). Let me bring the reminders again: Pope Paul VI had said,
- “The Church does not make her faithful sons (and daughters) strangers to civil life and national interests; on the contrary, she trains and engages them in the service of the public good.”
- “Recognizing the connections between evangelization and human advancement, the Church wants to contribute to man’s development in her own field, that of human conscience made more aware by the Gospel message; for by the light of that message the dignity of a people is seen more clearly, and the demands arising from that dignity are recognized. Those demands have their reflection in every aspect of human life, which is elevated to the fullness of personal responsibility, and inserted into a collectivity governed by justice and love.”
My dear friends, dwelling within society and among men as servants of the Holy Spirit, as the 2nd Synod for Africa calls you, we are and should be the historical form of the Kingdom of God, as its seed, sign and instrument.28 Scrutinizing the signs of the times and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel29, let the Marshallan, in deep solidarity with the rest of the people of this
28 Redemptoris Missio, §18.
29 Gaudium et Spes §3,4.
land with whom he/she shares the same national aspirations as well as broken dreams endeavour to become “a leaven and, as it were, the soul of human society in its renewal by Christ and transformation into the family of God.30
In the spirit of the address of Pope Paul VI to the Ugandan Parliament, which shows how the Church prepares her lay faithful not to be strangers to civil life and national interests, let us also recognize that “the just ordering of society and the state is the central responsibility of politics; for justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics, where politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life. The origin and the goal of politics are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now”.31
This is where faith comes to the help of political reason; and this is the area of the privileged contribution of the citizen as Christian; for “one of the tasks of the Church in Africa consists in forming upright consciences receptive to the demands of justice, so as to produce men and women willing and able to build this just social order by their responsible conduct.”32
30 Compendium of the Social doctrine of the Church, §96; Gaudium et spes, §40. 31 Deus Caritas est, § 28; cf. too, Africae Munus, 22 32 Africae Munus, §22. cf. too, §23
So, my dear friends, let the Marshallan servants of the Holy Spirit heed the healing call of the 2nd Synod for Africa to arise and walk, serving the reconciliation-needs, justice-needs and peace-needs of this nation. Buoyed up by the wings of faith and reason, even political reason, let us build in our land an earthly city that anticipates and is a pre-figuration of the heavenly city: the Kingdom of God, which we pray for everyday.
DAY TWO – AUGUST 14, 2014 (PART I)
ollowing the presentation, in the first lecture, of service to reconciliation, justice and peace of the 2nd. African Synod (Africae munus) as possible forms of Marshallan engagement in the social order, as agents of the New Evangelization and as citizens of a State, I wish to introduce an additional form of Marshallan engagement in the social order as suggested by Africae munus. This is the challenge of the Marshallan as an agent of “hope-in-action” proposed by Africae munus.
The African Church goes to a 2nd. Synod
At the time the Bishops of the Church in Africa gathered for a second time in synod with the Holy Father and other Bishops (2009), the situation on the continent had changed somewhat.33 Although forms of the miseries of hunger, poverty, bad governance and conflict persisted in certain areas, views about the continent were more positive: the continent was now generally considered to occupy the tenth position in world economy. Africa was the second emerging world market after China; and the G8 summit (in L’Aquila, Italy 2009) labelled it, a
33 Cfr. Ecclesia in Africa #13-14, 39-42, 51; Lineamenta: II Special Assembly for Africa, “Preface” and # 6-8.
continent of opportunities.34
The mood was certainly optimistic; and when the Pope prayed at the beginning of the Synod that “Pentecost may not only be an event of the past, at the very beginning of the Church, but that it may be today”, making all “servants of the Holy Spirit in the world at this time”,35 he imbued the Synod with a great sense of hope and expectation. Accordingly, both the final message of the 2nd Synod and the post Synod Exhortation, Africae munus, thought that the time had come for Africa to be conjured out of its debilitating ineptitude: They thought the time had come for Africa to hear and to respond to the healing words of Jesus, Africa, stand up and walk! Yes, Africa was exhorted to be hopeful about its future: its emergence from poverty, neo-colonization, underdevelopment, lack of self-confidence and lack of commitment to its ideals etc. Africa was exhorted to make a “conviction” the Church has about her a propulsive spiritual power of its transformation and growth.
Africa must live by Faith and Hope in God
Africae Munus did not only extol Africa’s religiosity and healthy humanism as an “immense spiritual lung” and a “precious treasure” in a world of “spiritual burdens and shadows”. The post Synod Exhortation also addressed to Africa a rather persistent call to hopefulness.
34 Two year later (2011), Cameroon introduced the celebration of her 50th anniversary of independence with a symposium under the title “L’ Afrique, une
chance pour le monde. Réalités et défis”.
35 Reflection of His Holiness Benedict XVI during the First General Congregation, 5 October 2009.
Before a gathering of the President of Benin, his Ministers, Diplomats and Religious Leaders, Pope Benedict XVI said: “The word hope is found several times in the post-Synod Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus, which I am shortly going to sign.”36 Right after greeting the dignitaries gathered in the presidential palace, the Holy Father began his address with these words: “Speaking on other occasions, I have often joined the word hope to the word Africa. I did so in Luanda two years ago as well as in reference to the Synod……… When I say that Africa is a continent of hope, I am not indulging in mere rhetoric, but simply expressing a personal conviction which is also that of the Church.” Indeed, for the Church, and so also for Pope Benedict XVI, to talk of hope is to talk about that which “generates energy, which stimulates the intellect and gives the will all its dynamism”; and this is so, because “to talk of hope is to talk of the future”, and to talk of the future is to talk of God. Having hope does not mean being ingenuous but making an act of faith in God, the Lord of history, and the Lord of our future.37
Between the terms: hope, future and God, there is a unity of reciprocal implication. Though rooted in the present, hope always belongs to the future; and there is no future without God. Thus the denial of God means the renunciation/rejection of future and the killing of hope. That is why in view of the threats of secularism and nihilistic thinking to Africa the Holy Father could write in Africae Munus: “To deprive the African continent
36 Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI: Meeting with Government Members, Representatives of Institutions of the Republic, Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of major Religions, Presidential Palace, Cotonou, Sat., 19 Nov. 2011. Emphasis mine. (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2011/no). Cf. too, Africae Munus, §9,10,12, 172.
of God would be to make it die a slow death, by taking away its very soul”.38
But the threats to Africa’s hope, the source of that “energy which stimulates the intellect and gives the will its dynamism” do not come only from outside the continent. The Pope identified two sources of threats to Africa’s hope from within itself:39
- “The first relates in a general way to the sociopolitical and economic life of the continent”: the prevalence of scandals and injustices, corruption and greed, errors and lies, violence which leads to misery and to death;
- and the second relates to the lack or failure of a functioning ecumenical, and interreligious dialogue, and the dominance of prejudice, bigotry and “humanly self-centered truth”, whose fruits are intolerance and the display of the base instincts of aggression.
In view of these enemies of hope within Africa, the Holy Father made this passionate appeal in the presidential palace at Cotonou: “From this place, I launch an appeal to all political and economic leaders of African countries and the rest of the world. Do not deprive your peoples of hope! Do not cut them off from their future by mutilating their present! ……. You must become true servants of hope!. ….. May you all be sowers of hope!” For, hope is communion.
38 Africae Munus, §7.
39 cf. Address of his Holiness Benedict XVI: Meeting with Government Members, Representatives of Institutions of the Republic, Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of major Religions, Presidential Palace, Cotonou, Nov. 2011.
Furthermore, the Pope identified the conditions under which hope becomes the source of such transformative energy and challenged Africa and its Church: its leaders and people, to make hope operational. The hopefulness of the Synod must be hope-inaction. Accordingly, when he told the Angolans (Africans) that they knew the time had come for Africa to be the “Continent of Hope”, he immediately spoke about the transformation of the continent with virtuous lives: “Friends”, he said, “armed with integrity, magnanimity and compassion, you can transform this continent, freeing your people from the scourges of greed, violence and unrest ………….. a determination born from the conversion of hearts to excise corruption once and for all.”40
As a result, the multitude of Angolans who lived below the threshold of absolute poverty were not to be forgotten, and their expectations disappointed.41 They were to hope in the change of their situation. They were to have hope in rising out of their situation; for, indeed, God has enabled human beings to fly, over and above their natural tendencies, on the wings of reason and faith. If they let these wings bear them aloft, they will easily recognize their neighbour as a brother or sister, born with the same fundamental human rights.42
Thus a key objective of the II Special Assembly for Africa and its post-Synod Exhortation appears to be an invitation to the Church in Africa to become an agent of hope-in-action, through the promotion of a concept of the person, of human dignity and
40 Address of the Holy Father ……, Meeting with Political and civil Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps (20/3/09).
41 Address of Holy Father Benedict XVI, Welcome Ceremony, Angola airport, 20 March, 2009.
42 cf. Idem,
of his relationship with reality that is the fruit of a profound spiritual renewal…….. a conversion of heart, and a humanism whose true measure is only Christ. It is such conversion and Christian humanism which create the godly (virtuous) lives which engender Africa’s hope and guide its attainment; for “all upright human conduct is hope in action.”43 Hope-in-action, then, describes how upright human conduct motivates and guides the various forms of social commitment of the Church in Africa. And, if at the end of the Synod, both the Pope and the Synod Fathers trusted that it was time for Africa to hear the healing call of Jesus to stand up and walk, 44 it was because they believed that Christian evangelization has produced enough holy and upright Africans who are going to take charge of institutions, direct affairs of State and commit themselves to the development and the transformation of life on the continent.
The globalized context of hope-in-action and the need for Partnerships
The 2nd Synod also recalled the globalized context of all life and activities on the continent, and the benefits