Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, invited the laity of Africa to personally encounter Jesus Christ and his love, and to consider their formation as the first priority. He said this when he addressed the third day of the Pan-African Congress in Yaoundé. “Encounter with Jesus and faith in him demands life styles totally renewed according to the Gospel, radically transformed and transfigured by the death and resurrection of Christ”, Cardinal Sarah stressed.
He gladly noted that this formation is already being done in many countries although there is need to insist so that it is done with more determination, consistence and conviction to enable the laity live fully united with Christ. “Christian formation is not all about a pure intellectual acquisition or religious sciences academics. It is not more of pure intellectual exercise. It helps us realise in us Christian perfection”, Cardinal Sarah said.
Earlier, Msgr. Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, challenged the delegates to acquaint themselves with the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Christfideles laici” and to translate it reality. “Now it is up to us to keep present this exhortation present in our group deliberations and translate it into reality in the life of our Churches and in our families, in the spheres of work and leisure, in our dioceses and parishes, and in our ecclesial movements and new communities ”, Msgr. Clemens said.
Quoting the exclamation of Pope Benedict XVI at the end of his Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus: “Get up, Church in Africa…Set out on the path of a new evangelisation…!”, Msgr. Clemens concluded his conference paper, “with Christifideles laici and other subsequent documents in our minds and hearts, let us arise then and make our own contribution towards the work of redemption for our brothers and sisters in Africa”.
In the afternoon, there was roundtable discussion on the places of education and formation in Africa: the family, the parish, the Small Christian Communities, Catholic schools and universities. This was followed by an open discussion. The last conference of the day was presented by Dr. Eugénie Tcheugoué, a Cameroonian youth, who talked about the youth as a gift and resource of hope from God for the Church in Africa.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity
Congress Venue Contacts:
Universitè Catholique de L’Africa Centrale (UCAC)
Campus de Nkolbisson - Yaounde
Media Contact Persons:
Fr. Moses Hamungole - Tel. 00237 79438093 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Vittorio Scelzo – Tel. 00237 714992208 email@example.com
Abbé George Mballaowono – Tel. 00237 94636795