BIA Benedict XVI Institute for Africa

About Us

Our Inspiration

Dear friends, at the beginning of my address, I consider it important to stress that your continent has been blessed by our Lord Jesus himself. At the dawn of his earthly life, sad circumstances led him to set foot on African soil. God chose your continent to become the dwelling-place of his Son. In Jesus, God drew near to all men and women, of course, but also, in a particular way, to the men and women of Africa. Africa is where the Son of God was weaned, where he was offered effective sanctuary. In Jesus, some two thousand years ago, God himself brought salt and light to Africa. From that time on, the seed of his presence was buried deep within the hearts of this dear continent, and it has blossomed gradually, beyond and within the vicissitudes of its human history. As a result of the coming of Christ who blessed it with his physical presence, Africa has received a particular vocation to know Christ. Let Africans be proud of this! In meditating upon, and in coming to a deeper spiritual and theological appreciation of this first stage of the kenosis, Africa will be able to find the strength needed to face its sometimes difficult daily existence, and thus it will be able to discover immense spaces of faith and hope which will help it to grow in God.

It would be well for your theologians today to continue to probe the depth of the Trinitarian mystery and its meaning for everyday African life. This century will perhaps permit, by God’s grace, the rebirth, on your continent, albeit certainly under a different and new form, of the prestigious School of Alexandria. Why could we not hope that Africans today and the universal Church might thereby be furnished with great theologians and spiritual masters capable of contributing to the sanctification of those who dwell in this continent and throughout the Church?

Pope Benedict XVI, March 19, 2009, Yaounde, Cameroon

Our Purpose

To form missionary leaders for the Church in Africa and the global Church in the spiritual and intellectual tradition of Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI

The Vision

To achieve our purpose we envisage to do the following:

  1. Start off by building the communication machinery of BIA, that is, the website and the newsletter, to create awareness of the BIA.
  2. Set up a working physical office in Africa which will coordinate the activities of the BIA for the continent of Africa, in partnership with the US-based office.
  3. Partner with other existing institutions dedicated to fostering and disseminating the theological heritage of Benedict XVI.
  4. Organize theological conferences in the different regions of the continent of Africa around the theme of development of African theology in the light of the theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI.
  5. Establish course curricular around the major themes of the theology of Benedict XVI, such as Christology, Trinity, Ecclesiology, Mariology, Eschatology, Culture and Interreligious Dialogue, Biblical Hermeneutics, The Priesthood, African Faculties of Theology, Major Seminaries, and Religious Houses of Formation.
  6. Invest in the academic formation of seminarians, priests, and religious men and women who intend to do undergraduate and graduate work on Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI through annual grants based on merit.
  7. Create an online and print journal, Benedict XVI Journal for Africa.
  8. Establish a permanent site for the Benedict XVI Institution for Africa, which will serve as the headquarters and study center for all pilot programs and courses on the theology of Benedict XVI for the Church of Africa.