Based on the consultation process of the Synod on Synodality, the Ethiopian Catholic Church is under preparation of a 10-year strategic plan which has brought together all the church bodies for joint consultation. The Consultation forum was held from December 12 to 16 2022 in Saint Francis Friary, Addis Ababa Ethiopia, in which Bishops, Provincials, Representatives from Religious Congregations, National Office, Diocesan office, Seminarians, laity, family and youth, partner organizations, Church sustainability program directors, Church Media representatives were present. His Eminence Cardinal Berhaneyesus had started off the assembly by the Opening Prayer and Remarks addressing all the Catholic Bishops who were present and those who could not come to the assembly due to many reasons. His Eminence has mention that the Synodal Way is an opportunity for our Church as to work together with pastoral, social and administrative needs of the Church.
The consultation forum continued with group and joint discussion between four major group that is the Pastoral Group, The Social Development group, The Operational group and the Education and Health Group. Each group has heard the report from consultants regarding the SWOT analysis in the specific sector, had inputs from theologians in specific selected themes and discussed it. After one and a half day sessions the groups were able to reach consensus on the setting up priorities and discovering the gaps of the Church in that area.
In the last two days sessions, the groups presented their draft documents to the full plenary and collected comments and suggestions. At the end the consultation ended by summing up the activities that the church should perform for the next 10 years in pastoral, social, administrative, educational and health sectors.
On the closing day, the Reverend Abba Gedey Seyoum, was present on behalf of the Bishop of Adigrat Diocese, His Eminence Abune Tesfasilassie, expressed his joy at his presence and conveyed the message of solidarity and call to prayer to the entire Adigrat diocese, stating that the Diocese of Adigrat will also walk together in this Church plan.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Eminence Cardinal Berhaneyesus entrusted the participants with “treating our shortcomings well and eliminating the spirit of division so that we can travel together”. The national steering committee has received comments from all the participants and reminded everyone to take ownership and personal responsibility in the future and ended the conference with a prayer.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia.