Religion of Thursday, 31 July 2014
The Roman Catholic Church in Africa and Madagascar has observed the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) Day in Accra.
SECAM is a Pan-Africa Church organisation for organic pastoral solidarity among the Roman Catholic Bishops in Africa and Madagascar.
The organisation promotes collaboration and joint action, and fosters communion among the Episcopal Conferences of Africa in their evangelizing missions, and the promotion of integral human development.
Most Reverend Gabriel Justice Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi, said SECAM was founded during a meeting of Catholic Bishops in Kampala, Uganda in July 1969, when His Holiness Pope John Paul the Sixth, the first Pope to visit Africa, was present.
He said SECAM comprised eight regional and 37 National Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Africa.
Archbishop Anokye said SECAM has diplomatic relations with Ghana, and was in the process of obtaining an observer status with the African Union by way of a Memorandum of Understanding.
He said the organisation adopted a strategic plan at its last Plenary Assembly held in Kinshasa, DR Congo from July 8 to 15, 2013.
Archbishop Anokye said the strategic plan evolved around the full development of organisational and institutional capacities of SECAM, judicious mobilisation and use of resources, promotion of greater collaboration with SECAM.
He said SECAM was in the process of organising several Pan-Africa workshops and seminars in preparation for the celebration of the Pan-African Year of Reconciliation, which would involve all other religions in Africa.
The Archbishop said SECAM had contributed to Africa in the area of social justice, governance and public policy through its Justice and Peace Commissions and network of offices in various countries that interacted with elected officials.
He said SECAM was currently involved in the Post-2015 Development Agenda being prepared by the United Nations and other faith leaders.
Mr Andy Agyekum, former board member of the Catholic Standard Newspaper, noted the good works of the organisation, and called for support to help the Church to be relevant in its social needs.