Yaoundé, 9 September 2012 - Cardinal Stanisaw Rylko described the experience of the continental congress of the laity as a moment of particular epiphany of the Church in Africa. “We discovered her numerous spiritual resources, her great religious and human vitality, and the strong missionary dynamism of her laity”, he said during his closing discourse.
He also emphasised that the formation of a mature laity is not a privilege but a right and a duty in the Church, and a matter of great urgency. Cardinal Rylko also stated that the Church in Africa can benefit greatly from the charisms, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and sign of hope given to those in great need.
“Africa extremely needs this kind of laity. Being witnesses of Christ in the heart of the world is not an easy duty because it requires a lot of courage to go against the current in relationship with dominant the cultural tendencies following the example of the Master, a sign of contradiction”, He highlighted.
In agreement with the morning congress presentations by Cardinal Peter Turkson and Professor Marguerite Peeters, Cardinal Rylko challenged the Catholic laity to defend the dignity of the human person and the inalienable rights like the right to life, which no individual, groups, authorities, states can change because it is supreme and comes from God.
Earlier in the morning Cardinal Turkson reminded the congress of the affirmation that in the life of the faithful, Christian social commitment and social action flow from the spirituality of discipleship. He also underlined the need for lay commitment to social action especially in places where only they can be the salt and light of the world.
“To all who are suffering, we want to say: you are not alone and abandoned! Christ is with you! The Church is with you!”, Cardinal Rylko closed the conference sessions of the Pan African congress which started on 4th September 2012.
Cardinal Christian Tumi, Emeritus Archbishop of Douala in Cameroon, presided over the Eucharistic celebration, punctuated by African liturgical tunes, held at Mvolye Basilica in Yaoundé to mark the end of the continental laity congress.
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