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|Ioannes Paulus PP. II|
Ecclesia in Africa
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57. "The Synod recalls that to evangelize is to proclaim by word and witness of life the Good News of Jesus Christ, crucified, died and risen, the Way, the Truth and the Life".76 To Africa, which is menaced on all sides by outbreaks of hatred and violence, by conflicts and wars, evangelizers must proclaim the hope of life rooted in the Paschal Mystery. It was precisely when, humanly speaking, Jesus' life seemed doomed to failure that he instituted the Eucharist, "the pledge of eternal glory",77 in order to perpetuate in time and space his victory over death. That is why at a time when the African Continent is in some ways in a critical situation the Special Assembly for Africa wished to be "the Synod of Resurrection, the Synod of Hope ... Christ our Hope is alive; we shall live!"78 Africa is not destined for death, but for life!
It is therefore essential that "the new evangelization should be centred on a transforming encounter with the living person of Christ".79 "The first proclamation ought to bring about this overwhelming and exhilarating experience of Jesus Christ who calls each one to follow him in an adventure of faith".80 This task is made all the easier because "the African believes in God the Creator from his traditional life and religion and thus is also open to the full and definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ, God with us, Word made flesh. Jesus, the Good News, is God who saves the African ... from oppression and slavery".81
Evangelization must reach "individual human beings and society in every aspect of their existence. It is therefore expressed in various activities, and particularly in those which the Synod examined: proclamation, inculturation, dialogue, justice and peace and the means of social communication".82
For the full success of this mission, it must be ensured that "in evangelization prayer to the Holy Spirit will be stressed for a continuing Pentecost, where Mary, as at the first Pentecost, will have her place".83 The power of the Holy Spirit guides the Church into all truth (cf. Jn 16:13), enabling her to go into the world in order to bear witness to Christ with confident resolve.
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