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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER II
    • II. Present-day problems of the Church in Africa
      • 49
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Overcoming divisions

49. Another challenge identified by the Synod Fathers concerns the various forms of division which need to be healed through honest dialogue.60 It has been rightly noted that, within the borders left behind by the colonial powers, the co-existence of ethnic groups with different traditions, languages, and even religions often meets obstacles arising from serious mutual hostility. "Tribal oppositions at times endanger if not peace, at least the pursuit of the common good of the society. They also create difficulties for the life of the Churches and the acceptance of Pastors from other ethnic groups".61 This is why the Church in Africa feels challenged by the specific responsibility of healing these divisions. For the same reason the Special Assembly emphasized the importance of ecumenical dialogue with other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and of dialogue with African traditional religion and Islam. The Fathers also considered the means to be used to achieve this goal.




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