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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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130. In gladly and gratefully endorsing this dec- laration of the Special Assembly, I wish to repeat to all my Brother Bishops in Africa what I said a few years ago: "The Church in Africa's obligation to be missionary to itself and to evangelize the Continent entails cooperation among the particular Churches in the context of each African country, among the various nations of the Continent and also of other continents. In this way Africa will be fully integrated in missionary activity".247 In an earlier appeal addressed to all the particular Churches, both young and old, I already said that "the world is steadily growing more united, and the Gospel spirit must lead us to overcome cultural and nationalistic barriers, avoiding all isolationism".248

The bold determination manifested by the Special Assembly to engage the young Churches of Africa in mission "to the ends of the earth" reflects the desire to implement, as generously as possible, one of the important directives of the Second Vatican Council: "In order that this missionary zeal may flourish among their native members, it very fitting that the young Churches should participate as soon as possible in the universal missionary work of the Church. Let them send their own missionaries to proclaim the Gospel all over the world, even though they themselves are suffering from a shortage of clergy. For their communion with the universal Church reaches a certain measure of perfection when they themselves take an active part in missionary zeal towards other nations".249

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