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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 22 JUL 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Mexico, Mexico, presented by Bishop Abelardo Alvarado Alcantara, upon having reached the age limit.
RE/.../ALVARADO                                VIS 20080722 (40)


VATICAN CITY, 22 JUL 2008 (VIS) - "Pastoral Prospects for the New Evangelisation in the Context of Globalisation and its Effects on African Cultures" is the theme of a meeting due to be held from 23 to 26 July in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, under the presidency of Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

  The meeting, which according to a communique on the event "forms part of a series of initiatives which intend to promote the pastoral approach to culture in different parts of the world", will be attended by the African members and consultors of the pontifical council and by bishops in charge of the pastoral care of culture in their respective episcopal conferences.

  After recalling that the last meeting of this kind took place in 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the communique indicates that the focus this time will be on the evangelisation of cultures, with particular emphasis on matters related to secularisation.

  "In the current context, with the cultural environment and lifestyles intensely affected by the effects of globalisation, the Church strives to promote the inculturation of the faith along with a new Christian humanism which will allow men and women in Africa to be fully African and fully Christian", reads the note.

  Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, who is a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of SECAM, will close the meeting with a talk on: "The Church, Family of God, Responding to the Challenges posed by Globalisation's Diffusion of Cultural Models Foreign to African Cultures".

  The Catholic Cultural Centre 'Bagamoyo' run by the Spiritan Fathers is the venue for the meeting. Bagamoyo was one of the major ports of the slave trade, where slaves were brought from Central and East Africa to be sent to the markets of Zanzibar. Hundreds of thousands of persons would be captured in the inner zones of the continent and then embarked from this port. A mission was opened in 1868 for those who had escaped from the slave traders or had been ransomed by the missionaries. "While choosing the theme", says the communique, "the organisers have not overlooked the fact that secularisation involves a modern form of slavery, neither less oppressive nor less damaging to the dignity of the human person.

 "The Church", the communique adds in conclusion, "is conscious of the fundamental cultural dimension of sustained development, indispensable for the future of the African continent. Therefore, particular weight will be given to the cultural values present in Africa which are at the service of the dignity of the human person".
CON-C/NEW EVANGELISATION/TANZANIA                    VIS 20080722 (440)

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