H.E. Berhaneyesus D. Cardinal Souraphiel, the Chairman of AMECEA and Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa Ethiopia has recommended the need of the Newly established Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development to also focus more on dealing with the chronic problem of small arms trade which is also affecting the AMECEA Region.
According to the AMECEA Chairman, Small Arms trade is one of the major challenges especially in the AMECEA Countries which are experiencing internal conflicts such as South Sudan.
Cardinal Berhaneyesus made the comment recently at the Vatican where he was among the participants of the International Conference marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI social encyclical ‘Populorum Progressio’ which coincided with the inception of the New Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development.
He made the comments based on a presentation by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which touched on peace being crucial to development and how small arms are making life miserable in Africa and also from the sharing by a priest from Central Africa Republic who saved 1500 people from being killed in the conflict.
The Conference which was organized by the Dicastery between April 3-4, was also Attended by AMECEA Coordinator for Justice Peace and Caritas Department, Mr. Antony Mbandi.
According to Mr. Mbandi, the conference was a wonderful occasion not only to take a look at what had been achieved in 50 years of the Encyclical, but also providing the church agents collaborating with in the new Dicastery, the vision into the future.
“The Papal address touched on who we are, our identity and how we have to transfer this identity to others around us, and the conference also gave us an opportunity to embrace the vision and mission of the new Dicastery”, he said.
Mr. Mbandi indicating that the department will be holding an AMECEA regional meeting on 24th to 25th of April 2017, and will take cognisance of the new Dicastery with participation expected from the National Caritas Directors, National Justice and Peace Secretaries and the National Health Coordinators from all the AMECEA Countries. The vision and issues discussed during the conference will form a core part of the AMECEA JPC discussions.
The President of the new Dicastery, HE Peter Cardinal Turkson, said the name of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is drawn directly from the teaching of Paul VI in “Populorum Progressio,” which insisted that the prevailing notion of development, particularly in reference to international efforts to help the world’s poorer countries, was too narrow when it focused mainly on economics rather than on people.
Integral human development is focused “on the whole person and all people,” recognizing them as the first agents of their own development and progress, he said. The Catholic Church’s definition of progress is to pass from a condition of life that leaves human dignity vulnerable to one that strengthens human dignity.
“Love becomes the propulsive element then of development,” said Cardinal Turkson adding “Integral human development,” by recognizing God’s love and wanting to share it, shows concern for migrants and refugees, for the sick, for victims of war and for all those facing marginalization because of poverty or ethnicity.