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Document Details :
Title: African Cross-National Attitudes and Expectations in View of the Synod on the Family
Author(s): ASSENGA, Petri
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Date: 2014
The announcing of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family met with an enthusiastic response in Africa, where the institution of marriage is central. The interest in the Synod and in the questionnaire was so intense that many people thought that the Vatican had proclaimed 2014 as the 'year of the family'. The response has involved research, reflection, and prayer. Some dioceses have composed prayers for the family and organized seminars and retreats to promote the wellbeing of the family which is under attack from various sides, for economic and political reasons. There have been many academic symposia and workshops in Catholic universities and colleges, organized by departments of pastoral and moral theology. The episcopal conferences have likewise been involved, organizing talks and discussions with theologians, pastors, and experts on marriage and the family in preparation for the Synod. The church in Africa has taken the family as its model. The traditional African family is facing challenges from the media, which bombard it with foreign values. This explains the need for the church to help families in the ways indicated in the present article.