Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic World News

African prelates urge clear teaching on marriage in new book

October 02, 2015

In another new book released just before the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, ten African prelates call for a clear and vigorous affirmation of Catholic doctrine on marriage and the family.

The book, entitled Christ’s New Homeland- Africa, emphasizes the need to resist the pressure of secularization in Africa; the prelates argue that the African continent will play a critical role in forming the Church’s response to secularization.

In one of the featured essays, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, critiques the instrumentum laboris, the working document for the Synod. He says that the confusion which arose at last year’s meeting was evidence “not only of a deep crisis of faith, but also of an equally deep crisis in pastoral practice: pastors hesitate to set out clearly in one direction.”

Cardinal Sarah also argues strongly against the notion that pastoral practices could be changed without a corresponding change in doctrine. Such changes, he suggests, would offer misguided people “a sort of ‘mercy’ that accomplishes nothing but lets them sink keeper into evil.”

In another essay Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, notes that the Catholic Church must set out its teachings with great clarity, to counteract the propaganda of Islamic militants who seek to portray all Christians as morally decadent. Observing the moral collapse of Western culture, he writes, “we have the obligation to set ourselves apart from that postmodern civilization, not out of fear or by way of withdrawing into our own enclaves, but out of fidelity to our deep Christian and African identity.”

Christ’s New Homeland- Africa includes essays by Archbishop Denis Amuzu-Dzakpah of Lomé, Cardinal Philippe Ouedraogo of Ouagadougou, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa, retired Cardinal Christian Tumi of Douala, Archbishop Antoine Ganye of Cotonou, retired Cardinal Théodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan. A foreword has been contributed by Cardinal Francis Arinze, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.


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  • Posted by: Rose of Lima - Oct. 03, 2015 8:26 PM ET USA

    I wish the American bishops would speak out so strongly