(Bishop of Gokwe, Zimbabwe)
Is the social service of the Church merely a means towards the end of proselytizing new members or is it "faith in action"? Surely the latter. The Gospel itself demands both the spiritual salvation as well as human promotion. Integral evangelisation is the handing on of the complete love of God our Saviour (cf. Titus 4,3). There is a need to integrate human promotion and concerns of "Justice & Peace" into the theology of the Church. Two groups deserve the special attention of the Church: our young people and women. The very serious problem of youth unemployment leaves a whole generation without hope. The Church has to give hope to this generation both through proclaiming the Gospel and social action.
Lack of respect for women impedes human promotion. While maintaining the specific roles of the sexes, the rights and dignity of women must be respected and promoted. Women must take part in making decisions. Rural women living in great hardship are the mainstay of their families. It is they who teach Christian values. They are the backbone of their parishes and communities. Without them the Church would surely fail in its evangelising mission.
It is not sufficient for the Church to speak a word of consolation to the suffering masses - it must address specifically the causes of injustice and oppression, and boldly take this chance to voice its own analysis of the roots of evil and make the world listen, just this once at least, to what the people of African ask from their brothers and sisters elsewhere.
Modern political systems on the continent lead to grave injustice and self-afflicted hardships without the willingness of those who claim to be the authority to accept the responsibility for the consequences. Here, too, the Church must speak boldly and seek a remedy for this malady. We need to educate our people on the value of human life, a traditional as well as a Christian value which is threatened by the impact of western harmful influences, e.g. in regard of the protection of unborn life. Everyone should be taught the social doctrine of the Church, especially pastoral workers.