The Holy Father opened the Synod for Africa in St Peters this morning, he spoke of Africa as being a spiritual lung for the world.
But this "spiritual lung" that Africa is for a mankind "in crisis of faith and hope," risks "infection" from "two dangerous diseases": "First, a disease that has spread throughout the Western world, namely practical materialism, combined with relativistic and nihilistic thinking”. "The so-called 'first' world - explained Benedict XVI - at times has exported and is exporting spirituality toxic waste, which infects the population in other continents, including in particular those in Africa. In this sense, colonialism, which ended at a political level, never completely ended”.
The second "virus" is "religious fundamentalism, mixed with political and economic interests. Groups claiming different religious affiliations are spreading in Africa; they do so in the name of God, but according to a logic that is the opposite to that of God, they do not teach and practice love and respect for freedom, but intolerance and violence.
Parallel to the theme of the "supremacy of God" for the pope, the work of the synod must focus on two themes: that of marriage and children.
Faced with the multiple ways in which the marriage is experienced in African cultures, often marked by polygamy and the humiliation of the women, Benedict XVI says that "marriage as the Bible presents it, does not exist outside of our relationship with God". This focus comes before "any kind of moral reflection or indication”. Thus, "to the extent that preserves and develops its faith, Africa can find huge resources to donate to the benefit of the family founded on marriage."
The third aspect that the synod should pay attention to is "the reality of childhood, which is a large and unfortunately suffering part of the African population."
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