By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tAs the Synod of Bishops for Africa reaches its midway point, its key themes seem to include empowering women (both in the broader society and the church), a perceived Western assault on the African family, globalization and it discontents (especially chronic poverty), and dialogue with Islam.
tThe fate of women, in particular, seems a major preoccupation.
t“The synod fathers have heard the cry of women,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana yesterday, noting that cry “has been echoed” by some of the women taking part in the African Synod itself.
t“Women need to be recognized in society as well as in the church as active members,” he said.
tTurkson, who is serving as the general secretary of the synod, yesterday delivered a speech technically known as the relation post disceptationem, or the “report after the discussion.”