Ecumenism: Orthodox and Protestant Representatives at Roman Catholic Synod Meeting?

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Africans must tap into the strengths of their cultural and religious values to promote reconciliation on the continent and to resist the “spiritual toxic waste” spread by the West, Pope Benedict XVI said. Presiding Oct. 4 over the opening Mass for the special Synod of Bishops for Africa, Pope Benedict said the vocation of the Catholic Church on the continent is to work for peace and to promote the holiness that will lead to justice, strong families and care for the weakest members of African societies.

“The vocation of the church — the community of persons reconciled with God and with each other — is that of being the prophecy and leaven of reconciliation among the various ethnic, linguistic and even religious groups within each individual nation and throughout the continent,” he said. Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch Abuna Paulos and representatives of the Greek Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches participating in the synod attended the Mass.