Father Zifac: it is well in Jesus’ name
With the uncertainty and political and cultural volatility of nowadays it can be easy to become overwhelmed. It can easy to lose hope and to give in to despair. Thankfully, as Christians we can return to the Scriptures for perspective. We can look to the Word of God and be reminded that for those who […]
Disappointments are a blessing.July 10, 2021
Members of BIA’s Holy Mass Association of Africa share reflections on fatherhood in honor of Fathers Day.June 20, 2021
Show-show for Jesus.June 18, 2021
Fortunately or unfortunately, most of Africa was evangelized by Latin rite missionaries. Which means that the way we worship God in the celebration of Mass and the sacraments is typically Roman, western or Latin. The church Catholic is made up of 21 sui iuris churches with 7 major rites (Roman, Byzantine, Alexandrian, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite […]May 29, 2021
We are gathered here in prayer, with St. Joseph and with Our Lady. They are here with the legion of angels and saints in heaven and so no one of us here is wasting his time even if you came here because somebody forced you or bribed you to come or even if you came […]May 23, 2021
Feelings are an essential part of what it means to be human. As it has been said before, one might not remember the exact details of a given incident, but one would remember how one felt about it. Human beings are feeling beings. And oftentimes, we act from our feelings. We even tend to make […]May 9, 2021
To make plants, God spoke to the earth: “Let the earth produce all kinds of plants” (Gen. 1:11). To make the fish, He spoke to the water: “Let the waters swarm and abundantly produce living creatures…” (Gen. 1:20). To make man, God spoke to Himself. And the Lord said, “Let us make man in our […]May 2, 2021
At the crux of this dialogue is a theme which I evoked earlier on, the transcultural nature of Christianity. Pope Benedict XVI in the encyclical Deus Caritas Est captures this uniqueness of the Christian expression when he says: Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter […]April 21, 2021
“Brothers and Sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything. Well then, in the […]April 18, 2021
Prayers and well-wishes for continued good health for our inspirational father, Jospeh Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, on his 94th birthday!April 17, 2021
Is African culture radically opposed to Christianity? The definitive answer is NO. But are there certain aspects of African culture which are opposed to Christian principles? Definitely yes. But this is not unique to African culture; each culture has elements in need of purification. It will be unfair to look at these opposing aspects and […]April 6, 2021
Mary Magdalen and the other women, some of Jesus’ most devoted disciples, who followed Jesus in Galilee and provided for him as his benefactors, the same women who watched as Jesus was crucified and died on Friday, who followed and saw where his dead body was laid to rest, are not at the first moment […]April 3, 2021
Jesus promises that when he is lifted up from the earth, he will draw all people to himself. This is his reply to the Greeks. He will not only be seen by them, but by the whole world. His outstrectched arms on the cross will be ready to welcome everybody. It is only when we […]March 21, 2021
Continued from Part 1 Many have thought, and I believe falsely so, that Christianity is foreign and radically opposed to African culture. With a lot of shortsightedness, they claim Christianity is a European affair, their way of relating with the divine. Thus, for them Christianity is just one option among a myriad, an option which […]March 20, 2021
The words forgetting and remembering are very significant in the Bible. While forgetting is negative and destructive, remembering is positive and constructive and can be redemptive. Both words are important in Jewish and Christian life. In the first reading, we experience a typical case of forgetting. The people of God refuse to remember that God […]March 18, 2021
“The Lord has forsaken me; my God has forgotten me. Where is God? Has be become so weak? Has he become so evil that he cannot save me?” At some point of our Christian faith and journey, the above conclusions and questions have crossed our minds. It has often led us to near despair and […]March 17, 2021
Football has rules and regulations to be followed by Players in the field of play. The aim of this game is to put the ball into the net of the opponent. The central referee is the judge who evaluates the actions and reactions of each player according to the rules. He decides whether to give […]March 11, 2021
Man does not just fall from sky. He is a product of his environment. This includes his culture, religion, worldview. In other words, each man comes from a particular community, with its own unique history, unique worldview and its own unique approach to the supernatural. All the above constitute what we call a culture. Thus, […]March 10, 2021
Scenes from Africa
“Ratzinger and the Future of African Theology” by Tegha Afuhwi Nji
What I intend to do in these few pages is to present my reflections on, and a panoramic synthesis of the theological discussions at the conference, while the publication of the papers that were presented is awaited next year.
A Welcome by Bishop Arthur Kennedy
It is well known that there are a large number of Institutes throughout the world that ground their interests and programs in some aspect of the broad range of contributions that Pope Benedict XVI provided the church in his ministry as priest, scholar, Bishop, Prefect and Pope. Many of these Institutes focus on one aspect of his studies, for example, on liturgy, or beauty; on Revelation, Inspiration or theology; on the interrelationship of history and ontology with its crucial consequence in moral theology, or on faith, Church and cultures.
What is unique about the Institute for Africa is that it seeks to appropriate for the Church in Africa, and ultimately through insights of African theologians, clergy and laity, the inner coherence of Pope Benedict’s learning of, and teaching about, the mysteries of Christian truth and the consequences, not only for the Church in Africa, for the larger world. Thus, being shaped by the liturgy and revelation, by the tradition of doctrines and systematics, and by relating these to the situations in Africa, it is to be hoped that families, societies and culture will be graced by living in, and thinking out, their faith, hope and charity in the shaping of present and future societies and culture.
It is perhaps best captured by Chaucer’s testimony of the imperfect cleric in The Canterbury Tales: they will “gladly learn and gladly teach.”
+ Most Rev. Arthur L. Kennedy
Episcopal Vicar for New Evangelization
Archdiocese of Boston
Fr. James Burns, Board Member
The Benedict XVI Institute for Africa is called to play a crucial role in this task of helping the African Church to remain in the truth of Jesus Christ. By remaining in the Truth of Christ, the Truth that is Christ, you will show that the Church is alive in Africa. In fact the Church is as much Africa as it is anywhere else though perhaps it is more so here as its rapid growth proves. Thus let Africa speak loudly to and for the Church. Do not let her voice be silenced. If you do all this you will have captured the hearts and minds of all people of good will and have won them over to the Lord.
– Fr. James Burns, IVD, PhD, President of St Mary’s University, Minnesota
Our priests. Your intentions.
George Weigel, Board Member
The Catholic Church in Africa is a great sign of hope for Catholicism and for the world. The vitality of its faith will be deepened by the Benedict XVI Institute for Africa, which will bring many students into closer contact with the thought of one of the Church’s master teachers and homilists, a true heir to the great African Fathers of the Church.
– George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies of the Ethics and Public Policy Center
Mary Ann Glendon, Board Member
This exciting new institute will help to assure that the massive growth of Christianity in Africa will be guided and nourished by the thought of one of the greatest theologians of modern times. May the light of what Benedict XVI called Africa’s profoundly religious soul illuminate souls longing for truth everywhere!– Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Former US Ambassador to the Holy See