[Prelate reports on Freemasonry, etc. in Africa at Synod of Bishops in Rome]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Nicodème Anani BARRIGAH-BÉNISSAN, Bishop of Atakpamé (TOGO)
13 October 2012
Our local Church is young and in full bloom. She represents approximately 25% of the population in Togo. However, she is faced with many challenges, of which I will mention four important concerns that refer to numbers 18, 29, 34, 57, 65 and 66 of the Instrumentum laboris.
1. The growth of Islam. The rapid expansion of Islam and especially the spreading of fundamentalism in West Africa enormously worries the Church. It only takes one day to become Muslim; but it is impossible to renounce this religion later. On the other hand, the preparation of catechumens lasts from three to four years in our dioceses; yet the baptized may quit the Catholic faith easily.
2. The proliferation of sects. The poverty of our people, youth unemployment, political deception, the strong religiosity of our people all make up a fertile terrain where sects grow and easily gather their adepts from among our faithful.
3. Secret and esoteric societies, especially the freemasons reign as masters at the head of the State, in the most important institutions and in all the intellectual circles of our country.
4. The lack of a formation of faithful.
5. The ministry of healing. More and more priests devote themselves to this ministry of liberation, of deliverance, of spiritual healing of the faithful, especially those coming from paganism, who feel a certain anguish when facing sorcery and the phenomenon of witchcraft.
The Episcopal Conference of Togo is convinced that the new evangelization should begin with the evangelizers themselves. She is full of hope and calls the entire Church to a pastoral conversion in humility and trust.