European bishops’ preparations for the 2015 Family Synod have largely focussed on challenges of pastoral care arising from two issues of sexual morality, remarriage after divorce and homosexuality. African see things rather differently.
A gathering of African bishops and theologians complained that too much of the 2014 synod was taken up with concerns of Western countries, while the most pressing concerns of Africans were ignored – and no, gay marriage is not one of those. Here’s a partial list, given in a National Catholic Reporterstory on the meeting:
Among the issues, too many to list in full:
Identity struggles for Africans who feel separated from their traditional cultures after Christian conversion;
Gender-based violence in households, overwhelmingly against women;
Missing presence of fathers in family life;
Large-scale, crippling poverty;
Lack of “principled, ethical leadership” in both governmental and church spheres.