Africans Get to Work With "Verbum Domini"

Resolve to Promote Lectio Divina and Role of Women

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YAOUNDE, Cameroon, DEC. 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Less than a month after the release of Benedict XVI's second postsynodal apostolic exhortation, representatives from around Africa have already gathered to study and apply it to the biblical apostolate of the continent.



The Biblical Centre for Africa and Madagascar (BICAM) under the auspices of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) hosted a continental seminar from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Yaounde.

The seminar centered on the theme "'Verbum Domini' and Biblical Apostolate in Africa -- Evaluation and the Way Forward -- “Go to the whole world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19)."

This was the first seminar to be held by a continent after the publication of the Holy Father's exhortation, which presents the conclusions and the Pope's reflections from the 2008 synod on the Word of God.

The participants at the seminar made eight resolutions, including promoting lectio divina in Africa; re-emphasizing "the important role of women in the dissemination of faith and promotion of the biblical apostolate;" addressing the issue of the "New World Ethic which tends to contradict biblical and magisterial teaching, as well as African culture values;" and inviting "all people of God [...] to play their role in promoting the Bible apostolate."

Word and faith

As well, they settled on five recommendations regarding the future of the biblical apostolate in Africa. Among their suggestions was an emphasis on formation. Additionally, they highlighted a need to use modern means of communication to promote the Bible on the continent.

And speaking of a concrete need, the seminar participants recommended the establishment of a translation school for African translators, because of the enduring need to translate sacred texts and Church documents.

"We entrust the fruits, resolutions, recommendations of this seminar to the Blessed Mary 'Mother of God’s Word' and 'Mother of Faith,'' the final statement affirmed. "[She is] the one in whom the interplay between the word of God and faith was brought to perfection."