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Segretariato Generale della Missione MCCJ

A Means of Communion and Sharing on Evangelisation and Mission

The Situation of the Catholic Church in Africa

Fr. Egan with the participants at the Johannesburg meeting

Fr. Egan with the participants at the Johannesburg meeting

Fr. Anthony Egan is a Jesuit priest with the Jesuit Institute of South Africa and a university lecturer in applied ethics at St. Augustine College of South Africa. During the recent Sub-continental  Council of Mission  meeting  of APDESAM (Johannesburg, South Africa, from 10th to 13th of September 2019) he presented a paper on the situation of the Catholic Church in Africa. 
«Roman Catholicism, said Fr. Egan, is the largest single Christian church in Africa. Africa is also the fastest and most consistently growing part of the Catholic Church in the twenty-first century.» However, many are the challenges the Church faces, clericalism, maintenance of Catholic structures, dialogue with Islam and ecumenism among others. Fr. Egan asks if the Church will continue to grow in the future. Surely, the speaker said, « The Catholic Church continues to enjoy considerable influence and prestige, largely through its social work. In many parts of the continent it might even be seen as performing the functions normally associated with the state.» However, whether  the Church will «decline in numbers and influence, as African states consolidate democracy, human rights and service delivery to citizens – reducing in the process the Catholic Church’s social influence – is unclear.»

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