TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON THE CHURCH IN AFRICA
IN SERVICE TO RECONCILIATION, JUSTICE AND PEACE
« You are the salt of the earth ...
You are the light of the world »
(Mt. 5: 13-14)
(Intoduction, cap. 13) With this document I wish to make available the encouraging fruits proposed by the Synod, and I invite all people of good will to look to Africa with faith and love, to help it become – through Christ and through the Holy Spirit – the light of the world and the salt of the earth (cf. Mt 5:13-14). A precious treasure is to be found in the soul of Africa, where I perceive a “spiritual ‘lung’ for a humanity that appears to be in a crisis of faith and hope”, on account of the extraordinary human and spiritual riches of its children, its variegated cultures, its soil and sub-soil of abundant resources. However, if it is to stand erect with dignity, Africa needs to hear the voice of Christ who today proclaims love of neighbour, love even of one’s enemies, to the point of laying down one’s life: the voice of Christ who prays today for the unity and communion of all people in God (cf. Jn 17:20-21).