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Sunday, November 20, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2011 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass, the Holy Father consigned the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Africae munus" to presidents of national and regional episcopal conferences in Africa, and to presidents of the synods of Eastern Catholic Churches.

  "Upon the reception of this Exhortation, the phase of assimilation and application of its theological, ecclesiological, spiritual and pastoral data begins at the local level. This text seeks to promote, encourage and consolidate the various local initiatives already in place. It seeks as well to inspire other initiatives for the upbuilding of the Catholic Church in Africa", the Holy Father explained.

  "One of the first missions of the Church is the proclamation of Jesus Christ and His Gospel 'ad gentes'. ... I hope that this Exhortation will guide you in the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus in Africa. It is not just a message or a word. It is above all openness and adhesion to a person: Jesus Christ the incarnate Word. He alone possesses the words of life eternal! Following the example of Christ, all Christians are called to reflect the mercy of the Father and the light of the Holy Spirit. Evangelisation presupposes and brings with it reconciliation and it promotes peace and justice.

  "Dear Church in Africa", the Holy Father added in conclusion, "become ever more fully the salt of the earth, this earth which Jesus Christ blessed with His presence when He took refuge here! Be the salt of the African earth, blessed by the blood of so many matters, men, women and children, witnesses of the Christian faith even to the supreme gift of their lives! Become the light of the world, the light in Africa which seeks, amid tribulations, the path of peace and justice for all its citizens. Your light is Jesus, the Christ, 'the Light of the World'. May God bless you, dear Africa!"

  The Holy Father then prayed the Angelus, entrusting to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Africa, "the new chapter now opening for the Church on this continent, asking her to accompany the future evangelisation of Africa as a whole".

  "Dear brothers and sisters of Africa, this land which sheltered the Holy Family, may you continue to cultivate Christian family values. At a time when so many families are separated, in exile, grief-stricken as a result of unending conflicts, may you be artisans of reconciliation and hope. With Mary, Our Lady of the Magnificat, may you always abide in joy. May this joy remain deep within hearts of your families and your countries!"
PV-BENIN/                                VIS 20111120 (440)

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