Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

AFRICA-FORMATION May-10-2011 (470 words) With photos. xxxi

African bishops say they need help forming flourishing vocations


Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, right, and Cardinal Pengo. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

By Barb Fraze
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Although African vocations are flourishing, the continent needs people to form those vocations, and African bishops visited Washington looking for such help.

Tanzanian Cardinal Polycarp Pengo said the major regional seminary in his city, Dar es Salaam, has 192 students and only 10 formators.

"Of course, the formation cannot be that good," the cardinal told Catholic News Service in an early May interview. "For me, this (formation) is the greatest need we have."

Cardinal Pengo, president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, said he would like to see U.S. seminary professors spend time teaching in Africa. He said he would like to send seminarians to the United States, where some could remain for a while after graduation while others would return to Africa to teach.

Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra, Ghana, added that the need for formation extended beyond priests and religious.

"When we talk about agents of evangelization, we should look at the formation of the lay leadership of the church in Africa, namely catechists, Catholic teachers, Catholic politicians, Catholic parents ... so that they also know what will be required of them, particularly formation in ... Catholic social teachings," he told CNS. The archbishop said forming lay leaders was especially important given the growing democracy movement in Africa.

The Catholic Church needs "people who are well-qualified in politics, in economics, in finances and other professions, people who are qualified ... as teachers to be able to deliver what we call ... Catholic social teaching, the Catholic perspective."

Cardinal Pengo also emphasized the importance of Africa's Catholic universities in forming future leaders. Because they accept more than Catholic students, "differences which are at the moment pretty threatening," such as the "presence of Islamic fundamentalism ... can be ironed out through these universities."

"The entire society will be much more at peace" if people learn to live together like they do in the universities, he added.

Archbishop Palmer-Buckle recalled Pope Benedict XVI's comment that Africa was "the spiritual lungs of the world" as well as the pope's caution that Africa could suffer from the "viral infections" of materialism, atheism and relativism.

The church must know "how to form people to be able to ride what I may call the crest, the wave of huge exponential evangelization ... but at the same time how to help forestall whatever could be the pitfalls" of what the pope called "the toxic waste from the West and at the same time the fundamentalist extreme."

He said the church must move into "ongoing formation, what we call post-confirmation catechesis for various laypeople, then formation that goes into vocation, into religious life and into vocation of family life, marriage and everything." Such ongoing formation is why Catholic universities "are very, very necessary," he added.

END


Copyright (c) 2011 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250