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Oct. 1, 2009
South African church officials to help Sierra Leone Catholics rebuild
Drawing on their experiences of rebuilding after apartheid, Catholic leaders in South Africa will help the church in Sierra Leone rebuild after its 11-year civil war.

Sept. 30, 2009
Zimbabwean youths put faith into action in neglected suburb of capital
Young Catholic parishioners in a neglected suburb of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, have formed a "faith in action" group that sweeps the trash-filled streets and fills potholes in the roads, among other tasks that the city council rarely undertakes, their parish priest said.

Sept. 28, 2009
African ethnic disputes could hinder church unity, cardinal says
An African Catholic leader said the chief concern among bishops of his continent who will gather at the Vatican in October involves maintaining the unity of the church in the midst of ethnic disputes in several nations.

Sept. 25, 2009
Curtain's up on Africa: Scripted synod -- but maybe some improv
A Synod of Bishops is a little like a short-run Broadway play, and after four years of preparation the curtain is about to go up on the African synod at the Vatican.

Sept. 23, 2009
African archbishop describes Sierra Leone's struggle to rebuild
Nearly eight years after the end of a brutal 11-year civil war, an archbishop in Sierra Leone said most people who fled have returned to the country, although they struggle to survive amid a shattered economy.

Sept. 22, 2009
Synod may not reflect reality of North Africa, say church leaders
As the 2009 Synod of Bishops for Africa approaches, some portions of the African church do not find their experiences or issues reflected in the synod's themes, but at least one bishop believes North Africans can offer something unique to synod discussions.

Sept. 18, 2009
Rapid urbanization is a serious threat to Africa, says U.N.
Urbanization is such a problem that bishops of southern Africa hope to bring it up as a topic at the Oct. 4-25 Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican, said Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sept. 15, 2009
Kenyan bishop says ethnic alliance threatens country's peace process
Bishop Cornelius Arap Korir of Eldoret opposed a proposed political alliance between Kenya's two main tribes, saying it was a threat to the peace process in the country.

Sept. 15, 2009
Bishops say Nigeria's inaction led to deaths during Islamic uprising
Nigeria's bishops said government inaction led to the untimely death of more than 2,000 people during the recent uprising by an extremist Islamic group, Boko Haram.

Sept. 4, 2009
US bishops' delegation impressed with AIDS work in southern Africa
Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City said he was particularly "touched by the number of volunteers" involved in the efforts, noting that they "make it possible to get the services to the people" who need them.

Sept. 3, 2009
US church leaders: Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa need more aid
Churches, the South African government and other agencies need to step up their help to Zimbabweans crossing the border into South Africa as the numbers increase, said members of a U.S. Catholic delegation.

Sept. 1, 2009
Outspoken Zimbabwean archbishop says government still wants him dead
Archbishop Pius Ncube, 62, who now lives in western Zimbabwe's Hwange Diocese, made his claims in a letter to South Africa's national Catholic weekly, The Southern Cross, with the request that Catholics pray for him.

Sept. 1, 2009
US bishop, adviser see vast changes in Zimbabwe since last year
Zimbabwe is a "vastly different place" than it was a year ago, with a new "level of hope," said Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla.

Aug. 31, 2009
In South Africa's largest cities, U.S. bishops see hope, problems
A U.S. bishops' delegation touring some of Johannesburg's poorest areas saw an active Catholic parish as well as some of the migration problems facing South Africa's largest city.

Aug. 26, 2009
Gender tests on runner could dispel stereotypes, church official says
As track champion Caster Semenya returned home to South Africa Aug. 25 to a heroine's welcome, a church official said the row caused by the International Association of Athletics Federation's insistence on a gender test could be a good thing if it makes people rethink gender stereotypes.

Aug. 25, 2009
Some South Africans say new group betrays Christian leaders' forum
South African Christian leaders said a group claiming to represent the country's religious leaders in meetings with the government has betrayed the trust of the 12-year-old National Religious Leaders' Forum.

Aug. 18, 2009
Sudan's churches urge efforts to save country from destabilization
Sudan's Christian churches asked the country's political leaders and the international community to step up efforts toward peace and "save the country and the whole region from being destabilized."

Aug. 11, 2009
Priest urges Zambian official to resign after remarks about church
A Zambian priest said the nation's information minister should resign for accusing the Catholic Church of complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and comparing it to the current situation in Zambia.

Aug. 5, 2009
Nairobi cardinal lifts suspension of archdiocesan charismatics
Nairobi Cardinal John Njue has lifted a suspension he had imposed on the activities of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement in his archdiocese.

Aug. 3, 2009
Catholic official asks Nigerian state to pay for 11 burned churches
A Catholic official in northeastern Nigeria has asked the Borno state government to pay for 11 Christian churches burned by Islamic extremists.

July 30, 2009
Anti-poverty protests call attention to growing South African needs
The protests, which began in mid-July in townships around Johannesburg, "are manifestations of frustration" over a lack of basic services such as water and electricity, as well as poor housing conditions, said the director of the justice and peace department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference.

July 16, 2009
Zambian bishops urge government to stop harassing the media
The Catholic bishops of Zambia have challenged their government to stop persecuting and harassing journalists and media institutions perceived as holding divergent views.

July 16, 2009
Congo's bishops urge citizens to fight corruption in their country
In a pastoral letter, "Restoration of the Nation by the Fight Against Corruption," the Kinshasa-based bishops' conference said that, "despite commitments made by the government, we see no real determination of our political leaders to put in place mechanisms to prevent and punish corruption."

July 15, 2009
Catholics in Zimbabwe work to get citizen input into new constitution
Catholic officials in Zimbabwe said they are working to involve ordinary Zimbabweans in a constitutional consultation, although many people fear retribution.

June 26, 2009
New head of Zimbabwean archdiocese says he'll focus on poverty relief
The new archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, said he will focus on poverty relief and development rather than trying to fill the gap left by his predecessor, who was arguably Zimbabwe's most outspoken critic of human rights abuses under President Robert Mugabe.

June 26, 2009
Kenyan bishop gets lifetime achievement award for human rights work
Kenya's National Commission on Human Rights has presented its lifetime achievement award to Catholic Bishop Cornelius Arap Korir of Eldoret.

June 12, 2009
Nigerian-bishop asks warring parties to end violence, embrace dialogue
Bishop Gabriel Dunia of Auchi, Nigeria has asked warring parties in the Niger Delta to put aside their weapons and allow peace to return to the region.

June 8, 2009
Christian Brother who guided church in Madagascar is beatified
An energetic convert to Catholicism who guided the church in Madagascar through extreme difficulties has been beatified in the country's capital.

May 28, 2009
Priest says sick Zimbabweans turned away from South African hospitals
A South African priest confirms a report by Doctors Without Borders that many Zimbabwean refugees who are ill or have been raped and injured are being denied access to South African hospitals or charged exorbitant fees.

May 28, 2009
Priests in Central African Republic end strike over new administrator
More than 40 priests in the Central African Republic launched a one-day strike to protest the appointment of a new apostolic administrator after an investigation of priests' celibacy led to the resignation of their archbishop.

May 28, 2009
Johannesburg Archdiocese increases aid to Zimbabweans in city
The Archdiocese of Johannesburg is increasing its help to Zimbabweans in the city as more cross into South Africa in the hope of finding work.

May 19, 2009
Retired bishop urges dialogue between Nigerian troops, militias
A retired Nigerian Catholic bishop urged dialogue between government troops and ethnic militias fighting for control of oil profits in southern Nigeria.

May 7, 2009
Church should avoid politics but defend rights, says nuncio in Africa
The Vatican's ambassador to Zambia and Malawi said the church in Africa should avoid partisan politics and stick to defending human rights.

April 24, 2009
Kenyan Catholic bishops say country's political leaders must step up
Kenya's Catholic bishops said the country's political leaders have ignored the needs of Kenyans and pursued their own selfish interests.

April 24, 2009
South African archbishop urges Zuma to intensify fight against AIDS
With Jacob Zuma set to become South Africa's president, the leader of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference has urged him to focus on the country's weakest people and to intensify the fight against AIDS.

April 24, 2009
Nigerian archbishop, sultan say 'religious' violence is political
A Nigerian Catholic archbishop and the sultan of Sokoto said the so-called religious violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria is not, in fact, about religion.

April 7, 2009
Catholic bishops in southern Africa urge leaders to shun corruption
Southern Africa's Catholic bishops said the dropping of graft charges against African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma denies him the chance to clear his name in court, and they called on those in positions of responsibility to shun all forms of corruption.

March 24, 2009
Zambia's bishops say African Union protocol threatens life, marriage
In a strongly worded letter to the president of Zambia, the country's Catholic bishops called on the government not to ratify an African Union protocol with articles that would threaten the sacredness of life and the sanctity of marriage.

March 24, 2009
South African cardinal expresses shock after Dalai Lama denied visa
Durban Cardinal Wilfrid Napier expressed "shock and regret" that the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader and head of its self-proclaimed government-in-exile, was denied a visa to attend a meeting in South Africa.

March 23, 2009
In Africa, pope challenges attitudes, cultural trends
Very little of what the pope had to say during his March 17-23 African journey was easy or accommodating. He preached the Gospel in a way that took issue with common practices and prevailing attitudes.

March 23, 2009
Pope tells reporters he felt sense of God's family in Africa
Pope Benedict XVI said he felt a great sense of family and respect for the sacred during his weeklong trip to Africa.

March 23, 2009
Turtle given by Pygmies to pope will stay in Africa
Although Vatican officials initially spoke about finding a home for the turtle in the Vatican Gardens, in the end they asked staff members of the Vatican Embassy in Angola to find it a proper home, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

March 23, 2009
Pope leaves Angola with appeal for international solidarity
Pope Benedict XVI bid farewell to Angola and to Africa, asking the continent's people to care for one another and telling the international community it has an obligation to share the world's resources in an equitable way.

March 23, 2009
Pope pleads for women's equality in Africa, praises 'silent heroines'
African women in particular are working under adverse conditions that are often caused by the "behavior and attitudes of men," the pope said in Angola March 22.

Women sing during an outdoor Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at the Cimangola esplanade in Luanda, Angola, March 22. Angola was the second and last stop on the pope's weeklong pastoral visit to Africa. (CNS/Alessia Giuliani, CPP)
March 22, 2009
Pope asks church in Africa to resist 'clouds of evil' on continent
At a Mass for hundreds of thousands of Angolans, Pope Benedict XVI called on Africa to embrace the Gospel and disperse the "clouds of evil" that have brought war, ethnic rivalry, tribalism and greed to the continent.

March 22, 2009
Pope asks Angolan youths to shape the future according to the Gospel
Meeting with nearly 30,000 Angolan young people, Pope Benedict XVI urged them to be wary of today's dominant social culture and to shape the world according to the values of the Gospel.

March 22, 2009
Pope tells Africans faith can liberate them from superstition, fear
The pope's words hit a nerve in Africa, where belief in witchcraft and sorcery has led to killings and discrimination, especially against children.

March 20, 2009
Pope appeals for African families, condemns promotion of abortion
Addressing Angolan political leaders and an international group of diplomats, Pope Benedict XVI appealed on behalf of African families struggling from the effects of poverty, disease and war.

March 20, 2009
Cameroonian Pygmies give pope send-off, gift of a turtle
A group of Pygmies showed up to give Pope Benedict XVI an unscheduled send-off from Cameroon, and presented him with a live turtle to take back with him to the Vatican.

March 20, 2009
In Angola, pope encourages postwar spiritual and material recovery
Arriving in Angola on the second stage of his African pilgrimage, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the country to continue on the path of reconciliation after a devastating civil war.

March 19, 2009
Congolese bishops describe complex conflicts in northern Congo
A Lenten statement by bishops from northern Congo illustrates what the working document for this fall's Synod of Bishops for Africa mentions as problems facing Africa: political instability, decades of armed conflict and fighting over natural resources that sometimes cause countries to disintegrate into "scenes of fratricide orchestrated by rival parties."

Pope Benedict XVI kisses a child as he leaves Amadou Ahidjo stadium following Mass in Yaounde, Cameroon, March 19. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Catholic Press Photo)
March 19, 2009
Pope outlines his view of African synod's main themes
Pope Benedict XVI offered a sneak preview of the Synod of Bishops for Africa, identifying several issues he believes will be crucial. Above all, he said, the church in Africa is called to be a healing community on a continent torn by "savage conflicts" and other tragedies.

March 19, 2009
In Cameroon, pope encourages sick with a touch, a smile and blessings
Pope Benedict XVI underlined one of his favorite themes -- faith as charity in action -- on a visit to a center for the disabled in Yaounde.

March 19, 2009
Positive changes seen in Africa since 1994 synod
Since the last Synod of Bishops for Africa 15 years ago, the continent has undergone significant change and made considerable progress, according to a Vatican document.

March 19, 2009
Synod working document seeks ways to promote justice, peace in Africa
The working document for this fall's Synod of Bishops for Africa called for a united effort among Catholics to help end the rampant injustices fueling conflicts on the continent and to usher in an era of peace.

People perform as Pope Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate Mass at Amadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, March 19. (CNS/Reuters)
March 19, 2009
In Africa, pope warns of erosion of values, 'tyranny of materialism'
The Mass marked the publication of the working document for October's Synod of Bishops for Africa, and at the end of the liturgy the pope personally handed copies of the text to bishops from all over the continent.

March 19, 2009
Pope encourages Christian-Muslim efforts to defend African values
Meeting with Muslims from Cameroon, Pope Benedict XVI said Christians and Muslims need to cooperate in Africa to defend traditional values and reject all forms of violence.

March 19, 2009
There they go again ...
Looks like the Vatican is still having trouble resisting the temptation to change Pope Benedictís words to reporters on his papal plane.

March 18, 2009
Pope asks Cameroon's pastoral workers to live in spirit of service
Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to Cameroon's small army of pastoral workers and asked them to "reveal the loving face of God to the poor" through their efforts.

March 18, 2009
In Kenya, dioceses fight to control ever-present ethnic tensions
It was the Christmas holidays, and diocesan offices were closed. James Kimisoi, head of the peace and justice commission of the Diocese of Eldoret, planned to be in the office only to pay people who monitored the polls in the December 2007 national elections. Then the violence began.

March 18, 2009
In one Kenyan diocese, an alternative rite of passage for girls
A Kenyan diocese is giving girls a chance to grow up without participating in the traditional tribal rite of female circumcision, a practice that carries the risk of disease or death.

Pope Benedict XVI waves at the end of his meeting with Cameroon bishops in the Church of Christ the King in the Tsinga quarter of Yaounde March 18. (CNS/Reuters)
March 18, 2009
In Cameroon, pope asks bishops to lead new evangelization efforts
Pope Benedict XVI, on his first full day in Africa, encouraged Cameroon's bishops to be strong preachers of the Gospel and vigilant shepherds on matters of priestly formation and behavior, liturgical dignity and Christian marriage.

March 17, 2009
Pope's condom comments latest chapter in sensitive church discussion
Pope Benedict XVI's declaration that distribution of condoms only increases the problem of AIDS is the latest and one of the strongest statements in a simmering debate inside the church.

March 17, 2009
Transfer of power confuses Madagascans, says church official
People in Madagascar's capital of Antananarivo are worried and confused about the sudden and violent transfer of power to the military, said a Catholic official.

March 17, 2009
Nigerian bishops lament past, express concern for country's future
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria lamented Nigeria's checkered political journey to nationhood and warned that the country still has a long way to go to reach stability.

March 17, 2009
In Africa, pope says Gospel is answer to continent's problems
Arriving in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said the church's message of hope and reconciliation was sorely needed by a continent suffering disproportionately from poverty, conflict and disease.

March 17, 2009
Pope, on plane, says church can help Africa address its problems
Making his first trip to Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic Church can help bring answers to the continent's chronic problems, including poverty, AIDS and tribalism

A priest elevates the Eucharist during Mass at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church in Yaounde, Cameroon, Feb. 1. An image of an angel is seen on the church wall. Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Cameroon and Angola March 17-23 on his first papal visit to Africa. (CNS/Galbe.Com)

Since '94, Africa has seen tremendous changes, but some issues remain
By Bronwen Dachs
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- The African continent and the Catholic Church there have undergone tremendous changes since the 1994 Synod of Bishops on Africa, yet poverty, justice and reconciliation remain major issues for this October's meeting.
(full story)

Papal trip to highlight challenges, possibilities
By John Thavis
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI opens a new chapter in his papal travels when he visits Cameroon and Angola in mid-March, a trip designed to highlight the church's message of hope on a continent beset by problems.
(full story)

Zimbabwe one of 'biggest challenges' facing Africans, says cardinal
By Bronwen Dachs
After a meeting with Zimbabwean bishops in January, South Africa's bishops said that "Zimbabwe has moved from a crisis to a disaster to passive genocide."

(full story)

African countries face instability, violence, tensions with neighbors
By Catholic News Service
Here is a list of countries in Africa that recently have been or currently are engaged in violent conflicts.
(full story)

Children have lunch at the Bungwe Health Center in remote northern Rwanda in this 2007 photo. The center cares for those affected by HIV and AIDS, including children without parents and those whose parents are sick to work or prepare food. (CNS/Rick D'Elia)
Africa's poverty, culture counter church efforts to control HIV
By Mwansa Pintu
Extreme poverty and cultural practices are contributing to the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, despite efforts to control HIV, said church officials.
(full story)

Catholic clinic offers hope for poor Ugandans affected by HIV, AIDS
By Sister Grace Candiru
Although the number of people helped by the Bishop Asili Memorial Rehabilitation Center and General Clinic is like a drop of water in an ocean, the center's work is an oasis to those desperate for care. (full story)

March 9, 2009
Bishops urge African nations to work for peace in Great Lakes region
The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar called on specific African countries to contribute to peace in the Great Lakes region.

March 6, 2009
Caritas aid workers discuss Africa's poor in global economic crisis
Caritas members from 22 African countries and representatives of the worldwide Caritas network of Catholic charitable agencies met March 4-6 in Nairobi.

March 4, 2009
Southern African bishops seek Vatican OK to keep new Mass translations
The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said it made a mistake in giving the go-ahead to parishes to use Vatican-approved Mass translations, but it has asked the Vatican to allow continued use of the texts.

March 3, 2009
Citing 'looming crisis,' Zambian bishops call for government integrity
In a wide-ranging pastoral letter, Zambia's Catholic bishops urged the government to tackle a variety of problems, including corruption, the economy and poverty.

Feb. 27, 2009
Congo's bishops welcome cease-fire but warn about country's future
The Congolese bishops' conference welcomed a fragile cease-fire in northeastern Congo but warned that the future of the country still hangs in the balance.

Feb. 24, 2009
African synod to consider continent's dire needs, Ugandan bishop says
The upcoming Synod of Bishops for Africa will give the continent's Catholic bishops the opportunity to focus on some of the most pressing needs of people besieged by poverty, reeling from rebel violence and seeing little development assistance from their governments, said the archbishop of Gulu, Uganda.

Feb. 23, 2009
Nigerian archbishop says sectarian violence will hurt development
A Nigerian Catholic archbishop said the sectarian violence in northern Nigeria will continue to negatively affect the development of the area by scaring off foreign investors.

Feb. 23, 2009
South African prelate warns against blind party loyalty, intimidation
Reminding South Africans of postelection violence in Zimbabwe and Kenya in 2008, the president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said the intimidation of those who hold different political views is a threat to democracy in South Africa.

Feb. 12, 2009
Catholic commission to rally support for rebuilding Zimbabwe
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe will use its nationwide network to rally support for rebuilding Zimbabwe after the formation of a unity government.

Feb. 2, 2009
Kenyan cardinal expresses concern for kidnapped nuns, seeks prayers
Nairobi Cardinal John Njue expressed concern over the whereabouts of two Italian nuns kidnapped in November.

Feb. 2, 2009
Retired Ugandan cardinal approves action to root out Kony in Congo
Ugandan Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala endorsed the Ugandan government's pursuit of rebel leader Joseph Kony, who is hiding in the jungles of neighboring Congo.

Jan. 29, 2009
Southern African bishops buy food, medicine for suffering Zimbabweans
The Catholic bishops of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland have used diocesan funds to buy food and medicine for Zimbabweans and urged Catholics in their countries to help provide immediate relief to their suffering neighbors.

Jan. 27, 2009
Bishops call for action in Zimbabwe, say time for talking is over
Unless southern Africa's leaders stop their support of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, they will be complicit in passive genocide, the region's Catholic bishops said.

Jan. 23, 2009
Kenyan bishops urge government to provide food for starving citizens
As nearly 10 million Kenyans suffer food shortages, the country's Catholic bishops have urged the government to provide assistance and food-for-work programs.

Jan. 15, 2009
Report: Zimbabwe health care collapse due to human rights violations
Physicians for Human Rights said Zimbabwe's doctors do not have viable salaries and most public hospitals have closed. At the same time, Zimbabweans are suffering from a cholera epidemic, increasing maternal mortality, and cases of malnutrition, AIDS, tuberculosis and anthrax.

Jan. 5, 2009
Bishops pay tribute to Helen Suzman, 91, anti-apartheid leader
"If ever there was a South African who epitomized the belief that you are never too small to make a difference, it was Helen Suzman," the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a statement.

Jan. 2, 2009
Jesuit discusses moves to renegotiate mining contracts in Congo
A Congolese Jesuit said he is optimistic that 60 government contracts with international mining companies will be renegotiated in favor of the government, raising more revenue for one of the poorest countries in Africa.

Dec. 29, 2008
Church official: Ugandan rebels kill Congolese civilians as revenge
A Catholic Church official said the Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army is killing Congolese civilians to avenge military attacks by the Congolese army.

Dec. 23, 2008
Exiled Zimbabwean in South Africa sends food to family left behind
Packages of basic groceries sent from South Africa are a lifeline for many Zimbabweans, said a Catholic journalist exiled from Zimbabwe who now supports his extended family from Cape Town.

Dec. 18, 2008
Bishops say Zimbabwean president must be forced to step down
"It is now time to isolate Mugabe completely and to remove all forms of moral, material or tacit support for him and his party," the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a Dec. 18 statement.

Dec. 17, 2008
Nigerian church officials urge Rwandan church to be force for peace
Noting that Africans "must look inward for our resources for promoting integral human development," the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria said, "The church must assume the role of the midwife of peace" and play a "more visible role in the peace processes."

Dec. 10, 2008
Congolese bishops appeal to U.S. to implement struggling peace accord
Calling the conflict in eastern Congo the worst since World War II, two Congolese bishops said Dec. 9 that the United States must help implement the Amani Program, the peace process set up as part of a cease-fire agreement.

Dec. 9, 2008
South African parish increases food aid as Zimbabweans flee cholera
A Catholic parish on the South African border with Zimbabwe has been increasing its food supply to respond to the escalating number of Zimbabwean refugees fleeing a cholera outbreak.

Dec. 8, 2008
Nigerian archbishop criticizes media coverage of recent violence
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos said the crisis that rocked his city in late November worsened because of inaccurate and biased reporting by local and international media.

Dec. 5, 2008
Ugandan archbishop says military action not best way to pursue Kony
Ugandan Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu said that using the military to pursue rebel leader Joseph Kony after he failed to sign a peace agreement with the Ugandan government is not a good solution.

Dec. 3, 2008
Congolese Catholics ask Canada to help stop war in their country
"The situation is dire," Bishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Bokungu, Congo, told a luncheon information session on Ottawa's Parliament Hill.

Dec. 1, 2008
Zambian police drop charges against priest-manager of radio station
Police in Zambia have dropped charges against Father Frank Bwalya, station manager of the Catholic Church's Radio Icengelo, who was arrested for allegedly issuing commentary intending to bring divisions between communities.

Nov. 20, 2008
Swazi bishop calls recent series of bombings 'cry for attention'
The recent series of bombings in Swaziland is "a cry for attention and recognition" by marginalized people in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy, a Catholic bishop said.

Nov. 20, 2008
Book on Rwandan Marian apparitions to be released on anniversary
Like many stories from Africa, the story of Mary appearing to three young girls in Rwanda "wasn't told" beyond the continent, said best-selling author Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Nov. 20, 2008
Public health crisis in Zimbabwe puts more than a million at risk
As world health professionals urged an international response to a public health crisis in Zimbabwe, a Jesuit priest working in the country told of the effects on ordinary citizens.

Nov. 19, 2008
Kenyan cardinal says church will resist moves to legalize abortion
Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, president of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, led hundreds of Catholics into the streets to demonstrate against a bill that would legalize abortion.

Nov. 13, 2008
Zambian police detain priest-manager of Catholic radio station
Police in Zambia have detained the Catholic Church's Radio Icengelo station manager, Father Frank Bwalya, over a postelection phone-in program aired by the community radio station.

Nov. 14, 2008
Congolese bishops denounce tolerance of hostilities in their country
A group of Congolese bishops has denounced the international community's tolerance of increasing hostilities in eastern Congo, which they called a "silent genocide" against the civilian population there.

Nov 10, 2008
Armed men kidnap two nuns who work with Somali refugees in Kenya
Two Italian nuns, both in their 60s, were kidnapped Nov. 10 in northeastern Kenya near the border with Somalia.

Nov 10, 2008
Pope condemns atrocities in Congo, appeals for peace
Pope Benedict XVI spoke of recent waves of "destruction, pillaging and violence of every kind" in eastern Congo and said his prayers were with those suffering.

Nov. 7, 2008
Kenyan bishops urge citizens to own up to sins for good of country
Kenya's Catholic bishops urged citizens to take responsibility for their sins so the country can move toward reconciliation after nearly a year of political havoc.

Oct. 31, 2008
Amid political turmoil, South African bishop urges respect for rights
As South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission warned of the danger of political violence before the general elections next year, a bishop urged the country's political leaders to instruct their followers to respect c onstitutional rights.

Oct. 27, 2008
Pope to visit Africa in March to help prepare for October synod
The pope will make the trip to help prepare for the Synod of Bishops on Africa, scheduled for October 2009, and to mark the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of Angola.

Oct. 16, 2008
Church leaders urge Zambians to face by-election with unity, prayer
Zambia's church leaders have urged the country to face the Oct. 30 presidential by-election with unity and prayer and called on candidates to follow the electoral code of conduct meticulously.

Oct. 14, 2008
Zimbabweans suffer while leaders play politics, say church officials
With Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal in jeopardy, the country's leaders are playing politics at the expense of the suffering majority, a church official said.

Oct. 10, 2008
Archbishop appeals to U.S. to help end violence in eastern Congo
Archbishop Francois Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, Congo, expressed hope that Americans would listen to his story about the ongoing violence in eastern Congo.

Oct. 1, 2008
Kenya's bishops urge government, businesses to consider the poor
Kenya's Catholic bishops urged their country's government and businesses to make laws and policies that favor the poor, whom they said were now the majority in the country.

Oct. 2, 2008
Amid Togo's economic woes, priest hopes to strengthen faith of youths
Catholicism has a long history in Atakpame, Togo, dating back to the arrival of German Divine Word missionaries at the end of the 19th century.

Sept. 26, 2008
Bishops say South African leaders must focus on needs of citizens
The political officeholders appointed after the resignation of South African President Thabo Mbeki must work toward rebuilding confidence in the country's leadership and focus on meeting the urgent needs and demands of ordinary citizens, said the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference.

Sept. 16, 2008
Church official expresses cautious optimism over new deal in Zimbabwe
The power-sharing deal signed by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is a "most welcome development," a church official said.

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