tenth convention of West African diocesan monks

“The prophetic function of the Catholic Priest within the face of intolerance and ethnic-religious instrumentalization in sub-Saharan Africa” is the theme that introduced 38 delegates of West African diocesan monks to Bissau from 5 to 10 June.

Jun 17, 2024

West African Diocesan Clergymen Convention underway in Guinea Bissau) (Casimiro Jorge Cajucam (Rádio Sol Mansi))

Stanislas Kambashi, SJ  and Xavérine Mukansinga
West African Diocesan Clergymen from a number of West African international locations have been assembly for his or her tenth annual convention in Guinea Bissau. In an interview with Vatican Information, Father Aloyse Sene, President of the Convention, spoke in regards to the targets, which embrace strengthening priestly fraternity and sharing experiences.

African Diocesan Clergymen sharing their actuality
The West African Clergymen’ Convention (French acronym, URPAO) meets yearly to advertise fraternity, cooperation, and solidarity within the diocesan priestly ministry. Exchanges revolve round an “edifying” theme that elicits dialogue of present world challenges, particularly within the West African sub-region.

“We’re sharing what we’re experiencing in our parishes, in our diocesan constructions and in our international locations,” mentioned Father Aloyse Sene, a priest of the Diocese of Kaolack, Senegal, the place he teaches Canon Legislation.

Encounters that enrich
The convention’s intention, explains the URPAO President, “is to strengthen fraternity and solidarity and share experiences that may curiosity all. One of many targets can be to mirror on how one can obtain this synergy: “This might contain, for instance, the trade of personnel within the service of the trustworthy, in a foreign country, who could be dealing with a deficit in vocations,” he defined.

For the Senegalese priest, the encounters amongst monks, attending the convention, enrich their imaginative and prescient and mission by cooperation between dioceses. Clergymen can depart their nation to serve in one other, he mentioned. “Immediately, African diocesan monks are prepared to do that, to go away, for instance, Senegal to serve in Guinea,” he mentioned. Father Sene additionally emphasised the necessity for cooperation between international locations, particularly within the space of formation: “It must be doable for seminarians to go away Senegal to coach in Nigeria and vice versa. By reinforcing this cooperation, monks will develop a extra open perspective to pastoral service,” he mentioned.

Clergymen combating ethnic intolerance
Returning to the theme of their tenth convention, “The prophetic function of the Catholic Priest within the face of intolerance and ethnic-religious instrumentalization in sub-Saharan Africa”, the URPAO President discovered the theme each topical and difficult.

For the organisers, this theme was chosen as a result of in a number of international locations, “in our completely different areas of sub-Saharan Africa, there may be nonetheless a reasonably recurrent downside of intolerance, linked both to area, origin, ethnicity, faith, and even linked to the particular person as a non-resident, as a foreigner, as a migrant,” mentioned Fr Sene. What’s extra tragic, he underlined, is that this “instrumentalization advantages just some socio-political teams. One of many intervals throughout which this downside is most noticeable is the electoral interval when sure political gamers pit sure ethnic teams in opposition to one another with a purpose to get elected,” he mentioned.

Hopes for the long run
Delegates for the tenth version of the convention have been drawn from every West African nation, and every nation despatched one diocesan priest as a consultant. The URPAO President hopes that subsequent yr’s convention and people to return might be a lot better attended. He hopes to take care of this fraternity by together with Mauritania, which has by no means participated in these conferences.Vatican Information

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