(Archbishop of Lome, Togo)
In Togo, as in other African countries, the people have asked the Church "expert on humanity", to accept to give, "exceptionally and in a temporary way", a delicate dangerous mission: its perspective is the Calvary and Golgotha, and not the thirst for honours or ambition of some political posting.
In light of the experience which has been given to us to make, it is clearly apparent that the Church would gain by the formation, support and accompaniment of her lay sons and daughters called to administer temporal power before God. Otherwise, the imbalance between their elevated scientific formation and their elementary religious knowledge would make them vulnerable before the many solicitations by secret societies, mystical and esoteric movements and by religious sects which fill the African continent and Madagascar.
A greater opening of our institutes of theological formation and pastoral to the lay faithful is to be hoped for, because they are desirous of acquiring and perfecting the instruments necessary for the organisation, the administration and the competent management, by the Christian point of view, of the "public affair". We launch an appeal for the concession of religious scholarships in the location by the supporting organisms, also counting on our contribution, as is done for priests and the religious, much more so because religious scholarships have no incidence on the salary received by the laic State.
On the other hand, because our lay faithful are occupied during the whole day in their specific professions, one must keep this into account before organising on their behalf, on the diocesan or parish level, of apt evening courses and sessions during the week-ends and during the holiday period.
Finally, we would like to end by pointing out that the appeal launched on behalf of the opening to lay people of our theology institutes is based upon the ever stronger solicitude coming from the same laic faithful, desirous of deepening their Christian formation to better shelter themselves from fugacious and flattering temptations, to live a life under the sign of the evangelical witness within the Christian community.
Original text: French