Agenzia Fides report– How should we communicate the Good News to the victims of recent wars? How should we communicate the Gospel of peace to those who find it difficult to live as brothers, after the horrors of war? These were the main themes at the heart of the International Missiology Conference held in Butembo (in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo), August 25 to 27. The conference was organized by the Université Catholique du Graben (UCG), with the help of Missio. The Université Catholique du Graben was founded in 1989 in Butembo by the then Bishop of Butembo-Beni, Archbishop Emmanuel Kataliko, who wanted to respond to a specific request from the public to give the diocese a university-level institution.
Speakers at the conference were: Dr. Peter Hunn Ermann, Professor, University of Tubingen, where he teaches Systematic Theology (just like the then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI), Professor Hans Colzani, Professor of Systematic Theology of the Missions at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Fr. Bonane Bakindika, PhD student in Tübingen, and Professor Waswandi Kakule, Rector Emeritus of the Université Catholique du Graben.
"I hope we can leave the conference even more committed to building our country more beautiful," said Bishop Melchisedech Sikula Paluku, Bishop of Butembo-Beni, at the opening session.
The population of Butembo-Beni has suffered and still suffers because of violence perpetrated by various armed groups operating in the area. To these people (victims of a form of "anti-testimony" in the words of Archbishop Sikula Paluku), the Church must bring a message of liberation, reconciliation, and peace, said the participants at the Missiology Conference.
The International Conference of Missiology on the socio-political and economic aspects of contemporary Africa and the mission of the Church in Africa, therefore, intend to contribute to efforts towards reconciliation, justice, and peace made by the international community and all people of good will.
In light of the International Symposium for Peace in Africa (SIPA) that was held Butembo in 2001, the International Conference of Missiology seeks to strengthen the research capacity and response of the Université Catholique du Graben towards a genuine reconciliation, send a message encouragement and hope to people struggling against the war, and seek the involvement of men of good will to work for justice and peace. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27291&lan=eng