Addis Ababa (Etiopia), 04.03.2023 – On the final working day of the Synodal Continental Assembly for Africa organized by the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Bishop Musie Ghebreghiorghis of the Eparchy of Emdeber in Ethiopia highlighted the importance of protecting and preserving African values.
In the homily of the Divine Liturgy, celebrated according to the Ethiopian Rite at the Cathedral of The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Addis Ababa, Bishop Ghebreghiorghis said, “This synod is a moment of grace. For us, it has been a fruitful experience for the whole of Africa is represented in this assembly […] We speak different languages, we have different cultural backgrounds, we have different liturgies and yet we feel we are members of the one family of God here in Africa”.
Then, the member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin added, “African society is a vibrant society with rich cultural values that need to be carefully preserved.”
Some values and traditions, he continued, “should be preserved to avoid what happened to the ancient civilizations.”
The 73-year-old Ethiopian Bishop further noted that “our synodal journey should help us to deepen further on these African values which may have a great impact on the world.”
Reflecting on the Synod on Synodality, Bishop Ghebreghiorghis said, “It is an invitation to reawaken our baptismal promises and to be attentive to what the Holy Spirit is saying to each one of us, to our local churches, to the whole of Africa and the world at large.”
The African continent, he lamented, “is facing different challenges at this time in history. The challenges of governance, ethnic conflict, fundamentalism, or religious and ideological extremism, poverty, and climate change.
He asked the people of God in Africa “if they are part of the problem or they have proposals for solutions to these problems.”
“Are we credible witnesses?” he questioned and continued, “People claim to be Christians yet they don’t live as Christians. They claim to be the people of God and at times they have no mercy among themselves.”
Bishop Ghebreghiorghis pointed out that “most of the wars, most of the conflicts that are going on in our continent at times are among Christians themselves.”
Through the synod, he said, “Pope Francis wants to tell us that our synodal journey should give an answer to these problems and to these question marks.”
Bishop Ghebreghiorghis further said the spiritual exercises in this season of lent “will increase the faith, hope and charity of the people of God in Africa. We need radical conversion that will enable us to be attentive to the voice of the spirit. To be attentive to the voice of each one of us, to be attentive to listen to our people, seeking for us to be open to dialogue, to accept everyone as he is with all his gifts. with all graces that God has given him. This – the Bishop said – will promote “living together as a society in Africa, marked by justice, reconciliation, and peace.”