…Holds 36th annual conference
In response to the call of Pope Francis last year, 2021 to formerly open a two-year synodal process on the “Synod on Synodality”, the Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN) has keyed into the process with the theme “Communion, participation and mission in the Church: Theological perspectives on the Synod and Synodality”, as it holds its annual Conference for the year 2022.
This was made known in a communiqué issued at the end of the 36th annual conference and meeting of CATHAN, cosigned by Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Francis Adedara, President and Sr. (Dr.) Florence Oso, EHJ, secretary, with the theme “Communion, Participation and Mission in the Church: Theological Perspectives on the Synod on Synodality,” held 19 – 22 April, 2022 at the EHJ Domus Fidei Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to CATHAN, Synods have been an ordinary part of the life of the Church since the early centuries, with local Churches and Dioceses convoking Synods to discuss theological and pastoral issues relevant to the times. Speaking on Communion, Participation and Mission, CATHAN stated that the terms Communion, Participation and Mission capture the essence of the Synod on Synodality.
“Coming together” or “travelling together”, to open conversations and to listen with the whole Church, is a task and duty for every member of the Church” On challenges and Pastoral Conversion in Nigeria, the communique read: “In the spirit of communion, we recognize that there are real challenges in the Church in Nigeria, especially in the desire not to exclude anyone.” On discerning the Signs of the Times, it read: “There is equally an urgent need for us as a Church to exercise the apostolate of listening with “the ears of the heart”.
Total listening demands listening to everyone regardless of culture, race, gender and age. It means listening to all, because each person has received gifts from the Holy Spirit for the edification of the community of God’s people.” Among other things, the communique also dwelt on proposal for Nigerian/African Contributions at the Synod, teaching office of Theologians at the Service of the Church. CATHAN commended the Church to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as it participates in the synodal process. In conclusion, the communique read: “As Christians, we are a people of hope, and so, we trust in the divine providence to direct the process and the outcome of the “Synod on Synodality”.
We are confident that the Lord will take us successfully through the entire process. In this and in all things, we entrust our country to the patronage of Our Lady Queen of Nigeria.”