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Thursday, 24 May 2018 18:43

AFRICA The Church goes beyond tribal divisions

24 May 2018 - “The celebrations of the feast of Pentecost have just ended and the dream of communion, fraternity, love is increasingly felt on the continent. The tribal, clan and ethnic divisions, even within the Church, which constantly feed our daily lives, remind us that the separatist spirit of Babel always remains strong", says to Agenzia Fides Ivorian theologian Fr. Donald Zagore.

"To become a Christian - he explains - means to nurture communion and therefore to enter into the Holy Spirit's way of being which is the force of communion, the unique and ultimate mediator that makes first of all communication between God and men possible and then among men themselves. One cannot think of living a Christian life separated from others. The feast of Pentecost constantly reminds us of the essence of our mission as a church in Africa, which is to work for reconciliation, the unification of our religious communities and our countries".

Pope Francis, in his homily on Sunday, May 20, invoked the Holy Spirit saying: "Blow upon the Church and impel her to the ends of the earth, so that, brought by you, she may bring nothing other than you. Blow upon our world the soothing warmth of peace and the refreshing cool of hope".

This invitation resounds among the baptized in Africa: "There is not a greater scandal than seeing the divided Churches, especially for tribal, ethnic and clan issues", continues Father Zagore. "Tribalization and clanization of our communities remain a serious distortion to the action of the Holy Spirit and to the very nature of the Church, since the Church herself is the work of the Holy Spirit. Tribalization and clanization of our churches are essentially a sin against the Holy Spirit. Where the Spirit of Christ reigns, there is no division, rather there is unity and reconciliation", he notes.

The theologian concludes: "The Holy Spirit offers itself to the community of those who support one another through Christ. Pentecost is, first of all, the feast of unity and communion of the Church and of all humanity. Through Pentecost, the whole Church, all of humanity speaks the same language: that of love. Only a love stronger than all personal interests is able to build and make fertile a community of united and reconciled men. It must be said strongly, the unity of the Church is impregnated with the only love of Christ who died and rose again for the salvation of all".  (DZ/AP) (23/05/2018 Agenzia Fides)


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