(Bishop of Chimoio, Mozambique)
We believe that the option of suing the Small Christian communities, as a method of evangelisation for the incarnation of the Gospel and placement of the Church, is a happy one and well thought out in relation to Africa. In fact, the Christian message must be lived, based on so-called "African communitarianism", on the basis of which each one helps the other, and the other helps each one and everything is shared. Like the first Christians, the small Christian communities, as their main characteristic, must have a living communion and the sharing of life. "Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common" (Acts 4,32).
Following the experience lived until today, the S.C.C. seem to be the only way for true evangelisation and inculturation of the African Church. In attempting a pastoral starting from the parish structure, without taking into consideration "Small Christian Communities", is like working in vain; in Africa it means creating a Church without a future.
To truly enter the African mentality, necessary condition for an authentic incarnation of the Gospel, this may occur only where the African individual confronts the drama of life and death, in his own "milieu", in his own small community. This is the privileged environment for the incarnation of the Gospel, which must be rooted in the dynamism of African tradition, confronting the passage from life to death as a rite of initiation.
We are deeply convinced that if all the implications had been followed:
- Today, we would be living a process of new edification of the Church which would correspond to the situations and cultures in Africa.
- Today, we would have a new evangelisation, which would involve the person in his entirety, bringing him to the capability of living his own faith in a more profound way, on a personal as well as a familial level, communitarian and professional level, political and economic level and in all the other areas of life.
- Summarising, today, perhaps we are living a more advanced level of a truly incarnate Church, capable of encountering the deepest aspirations of the African person.
In conclusion, we make a warm appeal to this Synod so that once again, it would announce the preponderant importance of the S.C.C. within the evangelising mission of the Church, giving them at the same time, his won type of role as mechanism and locations for research and investigation into the most appropriate way of being Church in Africa, today and for the next millennium.
Original text: Portuguese