From 27 to 30 August 2008, a Conference - organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice a nd Peace (now Dicastery for promoting integral human development) - was held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, bringing together six cardinals, several bishops, priests women and men religious and the laity from the entire continent, to present the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church in Africa; it was an outstanding ecclesistical event for the African continent.
Among the initiatives that developed after the First Synod for Africa, there is one which deserves special attention, namely the setting-up of Justice and Peace Commissions - where tehre is none - at various levels, as recommended by the Post-Synodal exortation Ecclesia in Africa (cf. No. 106), and the strengthening of those that already exist.
With the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, local Churches henceforth have a precious evangelization instrument. Churches in Africa could apply the Social Teaching of the Church to the realities of the continent. Some of these realities were the subject of specific papers presented during the Congress, be it the family, peace promotion, socio-political commitment of the laity, economics and development, promotion of the common good, human rights, the pastoral prison care or legal system. They were discussed in detail among participants in plenary sessions and working groups, the findings of which were included in the Conference Final Message and Recommendations.
This volume, published by LEV, in 2009, is available in our offices in English and French. It is also available in bookshops and Vatican Library shops.
For information: info[at]humandevelopment.va