(Bishop of Nkayi, Congo)
Let us be suspicious of all hasty generalisations, on the level of the problems as for the suggestion of solutions.
Among the numerous challenges that Africa must confront, the Bishops of Congo have picked out three which should be included in the inculturation process: the relationship between tradition and modernity, the political and socio-economic transformation of the African society and the Family.
1) For true inculturation, we must remain attentive to the problems posed by the encounter between tradition and modernity. For this, stopping on the combination youth-city-modernity, adults-the old-countryside-tradition, we would choose global evangelisation of youth and the city.
In accosting our African culture, we can find great sensitivity in relationship to suffering, sickness and death. In the light of Jesus Christ dead and resuscitated, we must lean over this question in regard to the mentality of witchcraft which creates such havoc in our society.
2) The Church in Africa must work on the political and socio-political transformation, opting for democracy, the reconstruction of unity and socio-economic development.
This domain is the particular concern of the laity. The pastors must, on one hand, give them corresponding formation focused on prayer, the Word of God, dialogue, responsible freedom and equality of all citizens.
We must educate Christians on the reconstruction of unity in and between our countries.
As regards socio-economic development, the responsibilities of the political men, of society and of the Church should be recognised, and our Christians should be mobilised for development. On the international level, we thank our benefactors, we denounce the countries which still support unjust structures, we ask our brothers, the pastors of these countries to call upon their citizens.
3) We affirm that the family is the foundation of society. Inculturation is a part of it and passes through it. Despite the aggressions to which it is subjected, the difficulties it encounters and the dangers which menace it, the family lives within the Church, the last bastion of the fundamental values which are: true love, dialogue, forgiveness, respect, faithfulness, indissolubility of life from conception. The Family is in danger, the Church must come to its aid.
Man and woman’s place and role in the family, society and Church must be part of a deeper study. We must also lean upon the problems linked to marriage and the relationship between the sacrament of marriage and eucharistic communion.
4) In conclusion, any true solution to our problems must begin by the conversion of our heart, which is only possible through Jesus Christ (cf. Mk. 7, 21-23; Jn 15,5).
Original text: English