Fr. Pete Henriot, an American Jesuit, is the director of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Lusaka, Zambia. He has an opinion piece on AllAfrica.com about the upcoming synod of African bishops. It is the second such synod, the last one being convened in 1994.
Henriot writes that after reading the instrumentum laboris, the working document the bishops will use to prepare for the synod, he was
Of all the points that the synod could emphasize, Henriot points to three that he sees are critical. To points are included in the instrumentum laboris.
- Educate Catholics, especially those in important government and business positions, in Catholic social teaching.
- Promote the dignity of women in both church and society.
- Advocate for environmentalism (He notes particularly climate change, ecological integrity, life-style adjustments, and industrial pollution).
The instrumentum laboris mentions the third point only in passing, Henriot writes, but "surely the actual synod deliberations will take up the topic."
The synod will meet in Rome for most of October and NCR's John Allen plans to be there. Check this blog and Web site for updates.