SECAM opposes seizure of power by force

Fri, Dec 1, 2023
By editor
3 MIN READ

Religion

THE Symposium Of Episcopal Conference Of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), says it opposes coup d’etat because the church’s teachings reject seizure of power through forceful means.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SECAM is the association of Catholic Bishops and Archbishops in Africa.

The Conference made its opposition to coups known on Friday in a statement, signed by the SECAM President and Archbishop of Kinshasa, DR Congo, Most Rev. Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo.

In the statement, which was made available to NAN in Ibadan, Ambongo remarked that the Church supports democracy, “a system that facilitates citizen participation in political decision-making and ensures that the governed select, oversee, and, when necessary, peacefully replace their leaders.

“While acknowledging that democracy is not flawless, it is our belief that compared to other forms of governance, democracy is preferable.

“This preference is rooted in its fundamental commitment to upholding and defending human rights.

“However, certain situations, like those in the Sahel and Central Africa, call for discernment. The Church remains deeply concerned about the well-being of the people in these regions, particularly those who have shown support for the interim governments formed in the wake of recent coups d’état.

“We recognize the legitimate desires of these populations for improved living conditions and governance,” he said.

He emphasised that Africa was currently grappling with numerous challenges and the Church actively engaged and stands in solidarity with the people of Africa.

According to him, the church is steadfastly enhancing its social and charitable endeavors to assist those who are vulnerable and support families facing precarious circumstances.

Ambongo said SECAM expressed solidarity with bishops who are diligently working towards finding lasting solutions for peace in the Great Lakes region and Sudan.

He added that their commitment is a testament to the church’s collective effort in fostering stability and harmony in these areas.

“Africa is at a crossroad, and we are called to establish a culture of “fraternity,” in line with Pope Francis’ repeated exhortations to build bridges of brotherhood.

“Such efforts are essential for infusing new vitality and spirit into our continent.

“By embracing and fostering this sense of fraternity, we can pave the way for a more unified and thriving Africa,” he said.

The Archbishop of Kinshasa also urged African governments at all levels to do their best to secure employment for the struggling youths and reduce poverty which had continued to be a pervasive challenge in many countries.

He said SECAM sympathised and prayed for the victims of inter-state conflicts and wars, especially children, who lost their lives in the process.

The Episcopal Conference however thanked God immensely for the successes it had recorded so far in achieving its mandates.

The association, created in 1969 in Kampala, Uganda, during the visit of  Pope Paul VI, was born out of the desire of African Catholic bishops to speak with one voice on matters pertaining to the church in Africa. (NAN)

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December 1, 2023 @ 17:29 GMT|

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