Page 5, 12th December 2003

12th December 2003
Page 5
Page 5, 12th December 2003 — Africa

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People: Renato Martino
Locations: Nashville


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Church appeals for solidarity

THE CHURCH and the world need to give priority assistance to Africa to help the continent face an ongoing crisis in health, economics and social development, according to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Given Africa's dramatic problems in facing civil, educational and health emergencies. Cardinal Renato Martino. the council's president, said it was again time to consider the easing of foreign debt for selected countries.

Sudan bishop builds bridges

A bishop has expressed the hope that American Catholics will help keep his Church alive as the country struggles with starvation.

Bishop Paride Taban said the people of Sudan live almost by faith alone.

"They have nothing, but can smile," the bishop said during an awareness-raising visit to the United States. "Some people here have a beautiful house and plenty to eat, but cannot smile."

He was in Nashville to visit some of the "lost boys," a generation of Sudanese males driven from their tribal villages during the civil war.

Church's hope for democracy

ZAMBIA'S BISHOPS have directed all parishes and Catholic institutions to set up civic education programmes as the country prepares to draw up a new constitution They said: "A badly drafted constitution, that might lack popular support, will probably have to be revisited in yet another constitutional review, and that will surely be even more expensive."

The bishops said the constitution should reduce the powers of the president, expand the Bill of Rights, entrench the rule of law, and put in place democratic principles.

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