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Gambian theologian gives voice to the South

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As a slogan for the future of world Christianity, a paraphrase of that old tune "Age of Aquarius" by the Fifth Dimension might do the trick: "This is the dawning of the Age of Africa."

As a small, but telling, sign of the times, consider that the new mayor of Kiev in the Ukraine, Leonid Chernovetskyi, belongs to a Pentecostalist church called the "Embassy of God," founded by a charismatic Nigerian immigrant named Sunday Adelaja. The last place one might expect an eruption of exuberant African-style Christianity is a strict Orthodox stronghold, yet the "Embassy of God" now claims more than 25,000 members across Ukraine and is growing rapidly.

The pope's intervention for Africa

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Speaking of Africa, Fr. J. M. Pérez Charlin of the Missionary Society of Africa, the erstwhile "White Fathers," has recently penned an essay examining the messages of Benedict XVI to bishops from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, Cameroon and Ghana making ad limina visits during the last year. Collectively, Pérez suggests, they amount to a papal "State of the Union" assessment of Africa.

Benedict continues appeal for peace

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Pope Benedict XVI appealed for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon last Sunday following his Angelus address, the last in Valle d'Aosta prior to his arrival at Castel Gandolfo, where he will spend most of August and September. The full text:

"In this moment, I cannot help but think of the ever more grave and tragic situation the Middle East is living though: hundreds of dead, and so many wounded; a growing mass of homeless persons and refugees; homes, cities and infrastructure destroyed; and in the hearts of many, hate and the desire for revenge seems to grow. These facts clearly demonstrate that justice cannot be reestablished, a new order cannot be created, and an authentic peace cannot be achieved when one takes recourse to the instrument of violence. More than ever, we see how prophetic, and yet at the same time realistic, is the voice of the church when, facing war and conflicts of every sort, she indicates the path of truth, justice, love and liberty, as the Blessed Pope John XXIII said in his immortal encyclical Pacem in terries. Again today, humanity must walk this path in order to reach the desired good and the true peace."

A note for Knights of Columbus

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Even if they had no financial resources whatsoever, the Knights of Columbus would still be an important force in Catholic affairs. With 1.7 million members, principally in the United States, they are the largest lay Catholic organization in the world. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson is an influential Catholic intellectual and speaker. Members of the Knights are known around the world for their commitment, perhaps especially to pro-life causes.

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August 1-14, 2014

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