Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference International Affairs department, has written to the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of East Africa (AMECEA) to express solidarity and support for the bishops and Catholics of the region.
The member conferences of East Africa meet from 16 to 26 July in Lilongwe – the capital of Malawi.
On behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales, Bishop Declan wrote:
“A rich and newer dimension to the relations between the Church in England and Wales and the Church in East Africa are the growing communities of Africans – and the network of African chaplains mandated by you to minister to them – as well as the presence of African missionaries who assist us in our work of evangelisation.”
He also raised some of the challenges facing Catholics from East Africa – including those living in England and Wales under the pastoral care of our bishops:
“As a Conference we are aware that there are many areas of pastoral care where you have so much to teach us – care of your diaspora communities here in the England and Wales, tackling difficult issues such as migration, trafficking, sexual violence and FGM – and we hope that you will keep this in mind during your discussions. We are encouraged by the growing network of relationship with different conferences in Africa and elsewhere in the world. It is our hope that this network will continue to grow and develop.
Bishop Declan concluded by looking to the Autumn Synod of Bishops in Rome focusing on family life:
“As we look ahead to the coming Synod on family and the definition of new development targets post-2015, we are convinced that if we can make better use of our relationship as Church, both in terms of sharing information and uniting our efforts, we will be able to ensure that faith organisations are an influential voice in modelling our future.”
You can read/download the full text of the letter by using the link in the top right hand corner of this article.
AMECEA is the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa.
It is an organisation of Catholic Bishops of the eight countries of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, namely Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Djibouti and Somalia are affiliate members.