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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Cardinal: Bad governance is cancer of Africa

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At the Synod for Africa today, delegates continued their unflinching examination of the problems of the African Church and society in the presence of the Holy Father.

Cardinal John Njue, the Archbishop of Nairobi and president of the Kenyan bishops’ conference, argued that Africa was hamstrung by poor leadership.

He said:

The Church in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa has continued to struggle to bring on board systems of governance that address justice through service to the common good. Pastoral letters have continually addressed bad governance which, by and large, can be termed the cancer of Africa.

What is clear in Kenya and the larger Africa is that some leaders would rather stick to constitutions that give them unchecked power leading to anarchy and dictatorship.

Consequently it is urgent: (1) To have a formation programme for people in government. (2) To form good and holy politicians as agents of good governance. (3) To provide chaplaincies for politicians. (4) To strengthen Catholic media so as to enhance moral formation for all. (5) To enhance the prophetic role of the Church everywhere. (6) To aggressively attend to the ongoing formation of all agents of evangelisation, including politicians, based on sound catechism and the social teachings of the Church.

Meanwhile, Bishop Theophile Kaboy Ruboneka, coadjutor of Goma in the Democratic Republic, said the Church needed to place a stronger emphasis on the role of women.

He said:

On the basis of our experience in Democratic Republic of Congo, in order to bring some comfort to women and children for the consequences and traumas they have suffered, we propose: (1) Combating sexual violence by going back to its ultimate cause which is the crisis of governance … (2) Creating homes for women and young girls as centres for listening and accompanying these violated and traumatised women. (3) Direct involvement of women in the ‘Justice and Peace’ Commissions: so that women may promote peace and fight against the degrading ideas that affect them. … (4) Formation of women through catechesis and literacy campaigns, to allow them to play their role properly … (5) Creating structures for the promotion of women.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

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