W/ African bishops call for lasting peace and justice

Bishops of RECOWA speaking to reporters in Abuja

By Bridget Ikyado/Angela Atabo

Bishops in the West African sub-region have warned political and other leaders against the thirst for acquiring wealth.

This is contained in a statement released after the 4th General Assembly of the Meeting of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA).

RECOWA President-elect, Bishop Alexis Touabli-Youlou, Diocese of Agboville, Ivory Coast, signed the declaration.

His message was delivered in English to journalists by Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, Bishop of Oyo, on Saturday in Abuja.

The bishops urged Christian politicians, traditional leaders, technocrats, professionals, especially those in the media, businessmen and women, and indeed “all our people to live their Christian vocation in the fight against corruption “.

They are warned against ethnocentrism, sectionalism and all forms of injustice in society.

“We strongly denounce the policies and practices of our governments and leaders that facilitate and enable the exploitation and marginalization of our people and endanger the future of our children.

“Tragically, some individuals have engaged in acts of violence and terrorism which have aggravated the state of insecurity in our sub-region.

“We call on all to never tire of exposing and eradicating such evils among us,” the statement read.

The Bishops, however, said they remained optimistic that none of the problems plaguing our sub-region were insurmountable.

“Yet we must work together, with like minds in politics, religion, economics, social life, media, in synergy to fight against all forms of human inhumanity to man” , they said.

The bishops called for concrete considerations for the needy and vulnerable and to love and welcome everyone.

They urged Christians in the West African region to support the need for justice, peace and security.

According to the statement, new leaders have been elected to manage the affairs of RECOWA for the next three years.

Are elected Mgr Alexis Touabli -Youlou, Diocese of Agboville Côte D’ivoire, as President,

Bishop Joseph Kwaku Afrifah -Agyekum, Bishop of Koforidua, First Vice President and Bishop José Lampra, Bissau, Second Vice President.

Also elected to direct the secretariat of the meeting is Fr. Vitalis Anaehobi, secretary general.

Father Vincent de Paul BORO, Deputy Secretary General and Father Célestine Sagna, Second Deputy Deputy Secretary.

They thanked the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Nigeria (CBCN) and the entire Catholic community.

They also thanked the government of the country and various men and women of good will for their magnanimity shown in their warm welcome.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deliberations of the assembly focused on the theme: “Fratelli Tutti”: “Pathway to build brotherhood and lasting peace in West Africa”.

Fratelli Tutti is the title of Pope Francis’ latest encyclical on fraternity and social friendship.

Catholic Bishops from 16 countries in the West African sub-region, including the Meeting of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA) participated in the conference which began May 2.

(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Idris Abdulrahman

About Michael C. Lovelace

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