Seven Cardinals, 125 bishops and secretary generals of various episcopal conferences of Africa and Madgascar were joined by a number of invited guests and organisations, and sister churches from all over the world, for the 16th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, SECAM.
The 8th to 15th July Assembly was organized around the theme “The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, peace and Justice”.
One of the main topics deliberated on was the continuity between Ecclesia in Africa and the Africae Munus, which were the papal exhortations by Blessed Pope JPII and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI following the First and second Synods on Africa of 1994 and 2009 respectively.
The participants, as part of the meeting adopted the strategic plan for 2013 – 2018, governance projects, the common good and the democratic transition in Africa. They also focused on faith issues, culture and development and the much talked about African Catholic Press Agency. The bishops sent a conclusive message of hope, faith and love to the Church-Family of God in Africa. As for the socio-political situation, the participants deplored the insecurity in certain African countries, especially in the DRC, the Central African Republic, countries in the horn of Africa, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Madagascar, Tunisia and Egypt.
In relation to these hot sports of Africa, the participants came up with resolutions and recommendations that they believe should help foster the promotion of reconciliation, Justice and peace in Africa.
As a last act they plenary assembly proceeded to the election of new office bearers for SECAM. The Archbishop of Lubango in Angola, Mgr Gabriel MBILINGI, is now the new president of SECAM. His two assistants are Mgr Louis PORTELLA- MBUYU, bishop of Kinkala, in Congo-Brazzaville, and Mgr Gabriel ANOKYE, Archbishop of Kumasi in Ghana. Zambia’s Fr. Joseph Komakoma was elected as the new Secretary General of SECAM.