Synod on Africa Renews Staff Member’s Faith

John Katunga, CRS’ regional technical advisor for peacebuilding and justice in East Africa, recently participated in the Synod of Bishops on Africa. Here is his interpretation of the synod, in his own words.

My experience at the second Synod of Bishops on Africa at the Vatican was incredible. The three-week synod focused on achieving peace, justice and reconciliation in Africa. At the end, I felt an enormous commitment by the Roman Catholic Church to do something different on the continent. For the first time, I see a prospect for a major change in the Church that is extremely hopeful.

Five key issues that have a direct impact on Catholics everywhere, and particularly in Africa, are being addressed in the 57 propositions that emerged from the synod:


Photo by Josh Estey for CRS

The openness and transparency at this synod was incredible. No subject was taboo. Everything was discussed, including AIDS, corruption, poverty and development initiatives. All the debates were publicized, allowing the public to be aware of the discussions taking place. The participation of women and people of other Christian faiths and religions was also very high.

Spiritually, I now feel so fulfilled by my faith. My faith came out of Rome reinforced, because the Church is openly—and now decisively—addressing many challenging issues to reach the vision that Jesus described for us. The spirit and enthusiasm resulting from this synod is flowing powerfully.

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