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Two leading faith-based African women leaders outline what African women expect from the forthcoming synod on synodality. Ugandan, Sr Rosemary Nyirumbe often dubbed 'the African Mother Teresa' and African biblical scholar, Prof  Caroline Mbonu, outline some of the key issues that African women should be bringing to the synodal halls including participation of women in mainstream leadership in the church, creating more opportunities for women in the church and society, women education, violence against women, advancing the rights of women in society, and listening to the voices of women and respecting their agency among other issue. Both are hopeful of a good outcome from this synod because the Holy Spirit is at work in the current effort to renew and revive the church through this synodal process.
Jesuit priest, social anthropologist, and social justice advocate, Fr Ludovic Lado and emerging African political theologian, Fr William Orbih address the current political situation in Africa. They help us understand why there is so much unrest, some many military takeovers of governments, and shrinking political and economic freedom in many African countries. Orbih calls for 'a culture of protest' to resist the exploitation and manipulation of everyday people by politicians; while Lado calls on the Catholic Church in Africa to stand with the poor and the oppressed in the continent in standing up against bad governance and illiberal democracies in Africa. The church, Lado, proposes is becoming compromised in some African countries. Both guests call on the churches in Africa to make common cause with the poor in the pursuit of social justice. All Christians and indeed all Africans must commit to the task of rebuilding Africa on the foundations of fraternity, good governance, solidarity, social transformation, justice and peace.  
We present to you our guest host, Fr Ruffino Ezama of the Comboni Missionaries. Currently, Ruffino is the Provincial Superior of the North American Province. His conversation partner in this episode is Mother Alice Drajea Jurugo, the Superior General of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Sisters, based in Juba, South Sudan. The Sacred Heart Sisters were founded by the Comboni Missionaries in Sudan in the 1950s. In this episode, Fr Ezama and Mother Jurugo discuss the recent apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the DRC and Sudan. They join their voices to that of the Holy Father in calling on all people especially the political leaders to become serious about bringing peace and abundant life to the people of South Sudan and the Congo. Everyone is called to become committed messengers of peace, hope and faith through a change in worldview, practices of forgiveness and reconciliation, and embracing a lifestyle that promotes peace, harmony and humanity!
This podcast is a special tribute to Fr Isaac Achi who was burned to death by radical Islamic fundamentalists in Nigeria's Niger State on January 15, 2023. Dominican priest and professor of political science, Fr Iheanyi Enwerem, pays tribute to Fr Achi and remembers so many Catholic priests, Christian religious leaders, Nigerian Christians and men and women of goodwill who are being murdered everyday in Nigeria. He decries the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, and the failure of the government to guarantee the security of lives and properties in Nigeria. He blames the current government in Nigeria for its complicity in these atrocious evils against God's people and offers some solutions for addressing this trouble situation. 
Ugandan theologian and humanitarian, Fr Alex Ojacor, discusses with Fr Stan Chu Ilo on why he thinks 2023 will be a great year for Africa and her peoples. They discuss the role of faith, the church, and politics in turning Africa's possibilities and hopes into reality for the flourishing of Africa and spreading prosperity for Africans in 2023.
As Catholics and the rest of the world mourn the passing of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, we have assembled some of the most important scholars of Catholic intellectual tradition and experts on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI to discuss his legacy both as a theologian and pastor. Listen to the engaging and insightful theological analysis and tributes of Notre Dame University scholars, Prof Cyril O’Regan, Prof John Cavadini, and Prof Paulinus Odozor in conversation with Prof Stan Chu Ilo of DePaul University on the life and times of Benedict XVI and how he will be remembered.
Meet the first African Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries, Fr Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie. In this interview, he shares the story of his vocation and faith journey and the mission of the Comboni missionaries in Africa and in the World Church. He is joined in this conversation by Fr Ruffino Ezama, the North American Provincial of the Comboni Missionaries. Both of them offer us a compelling message of fraternal solidarity and provide a road map for a listening church, a prophetic church, and an inclusive church of peace, love, and fraternal solidarity in Africa and in the world. 
Amainini Regina Matambanadzo, a Zimbabwean Catholic woman, nurse, and mother calls on Pope Francis and the Church in Africa and in the world to make common cause with the women and young people of Zimbabwe at this critical time in the nation's history.  Zimbabwe is currently emerging from many years of political, social, and economic challenges. She claims that the lay members of Christ's faithful in Zimbabwe are not being consulted particularly in this synodal process.  According to Amainini, changes in the Church should emerge from listening to the voices of Catholics at the grassroots and laywomen like her who inhabit the existential peripheries in countries like Zimbabwe.  She prays and hopes that the Church in Zimbabwe will open the synodal process to the participation of all people, especially women.
Sr Dr. Justin Nabushawo, a Ugandan nun and communication expert, and former editor of the African Ecclesial Review,  invites the Church in Africa and in the world to listen to the cries of women today. Women are seeking respect, recognition, and greater inclusion in the Church.  Women's talents and gifts rather than their gender, she argues, should be the criteria for bringing women into the mainstream of Church life. Women in Africa, and in many parts of the world, she laments, are standing outside at the doorsteps of the churches because of patriarchal tendencies and mindsets that should be addressed during this synodal process. She proposes that the time is ripe now to empower women in our African churches through educational opportunities so that they can contribute their talents and gifts as leaders with men in building the kingdom of God.
Co-host, writer, and grassroots leader, Sr Mumbi Kigutha (Kenya), and humanitarian and Catholic educationist, Fr Alex Ojacor (Uganda) and Fr Stan Chu Ilo (Nigeria) reflect on God's dream for Africa in 2022. They give practical suggestions on how the local churches in Africa can meet the challenges and opportunities opening up to God's people in Africa in the New Year by being a synodal Church. They also highlight some of the weaknesses in church leadership and social engagement by churches as well as the crisis of the nation-state and governance in Africa. 
Sr. Josée Ngalula, an accomplished theologian and a  Sister of St. Andre from the Democratic Republic of Congo shares her hopes and dreams for the African Church and especially African Catholic women. We also get to learn of some of the details about the process that took place behind the scenes, leading to her appointment to the International Theological Commission, becoming the first African woman to achieve this feat. More so, what this commission does for the global Church and what her contributions will be.Furthermore, she shares her perspective on what needs to happen at the grassroots, so that more African women are equipped with the necessary skills to participate more fully at all levels of Church and Society. 
Sr Kemi Akinleye and Sr Beatrice  Efembele who are heading the publication department of the Paulines Sisters, West Africa tell the stories of their lives, ministry, grassroots evangelization, and faith animation through the Paulines Publications, Africa. They narrate the challenging experience of Christian persecution in Nigeria, the rise in violence in the country, the hostile environment in which they work, and their courageous effort to be present in the chaos of the lives of the people. They speak of hope for Africa and make a passionate appeal for the inclusion of the voices of women in the synodal process in Africa.  
On October 10, 2021, Pope Francis will open a two-year synodal process in the worldwide Catholic Church. In creating the opportunity for listening and dialogue on the local level through this Synod, Pope Francis is calling the Church to rediscover her deeply synodal nature. This is a time to pray, listen, analyze, dialogue, and discern how to build a vital church in Africa and in the world.  It is also a time to seek a common path in shaping the future of the Catholic Church to meet the needs and hunger of God's people in these challenging and complex times. In this inaugural episode of the African Catholic Voices podcast, host, Fr Stan Chu Ilo, Coordinating servant of the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network, and Fr Patrick Alumuku, CEO of Catholic Television, Nigeria and former news anchor at Vatican Radio call on African Catholics to take this synodal process seriously. They also discuss how the synodal process should be carried out successfully in Africa. They also make a case for taking African voices seriously in the Catholic Church, and why the voices of the poor and the marginalized in our churches need to be listened to through this synodal process.  
Prof Itumeleng Mothoagae, a South African biblical scholar and Head of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of South Africa addresses the contested questions around polygamy in Africa. He introduces what he calls 'biculturality and bireligiosity' in understanding why the churches in Africa are struggling with finding the right pastoral response to the prevalence of polygamy in Africa. In South Africa, polygamy is constitutional and many Zionist churches in Southern Africa embrace polygamy.  Prof Mothoagae unpacks  the colonial and racialized notions that led many churches in Africa, including the Catholic Church to condemn polygamy, while adopting pastoral and canonical approaches that he considers inadequate. While not endorsing polygamy or rejecting it, he invites church pastors and theologians in Africa to deepen an understanding of why polygamy persists in Africa, and how to accompany the polygamist who wishes to be baptized or to remain in the church as an already baptized Catholic who marries a second wife or a second husband.  
Rose Egolet, an advocate for women justice and human rights and resource mobilization advisor for Kilimanjaro Women Information and Education Community Organization (KWIECO), Moshi-Tanzania (funded by Crossroads International), and Fr Ruffino Ezama, Provincial superior of the Comboni Missionaries of the North American Province, share their thoughts on the punitive measures of Western donor agencies and governments against their beloved country, Uganda, over the country's anti-homosexuality legislation. Both guests help us to understand the complexities of the issues; they call for respect for African agency and for African countries and peoples to rethink the current aid regime, policies and practices. In the face of some ideologically driven conditions attached to Western and international foreign aid, mission and intervention in Africa,  our guests invite Africa to break the continent's dependency on foreign aid in order to secure the future of her cultures and peoples, traditional family values, and the rights of the poor. 
Bishop Paride Taban who died at 87 on All Saints Day has left an inedible mark in South Sudan, Sudan, and the rest of Africa and the world as a peace-builder, a peace-maker, and a servant leader. In establishing the Peace Village, he has left a permanent example of how to be a pastor with the smell of a sheep and how to heal the wounds and brokenness of war through love, selfless sacrifice, and boundless energy for God's suffering people. His friend and colleague, John Ashworth, pays a special tribute to this wise, humble, holy and peace-loving bishop who gave his life for God's people, especially the poor, the broken, and the wounded.
Co-hosts Sr Chantal and Fr Stan discuss the latest statistics on the growth of the Catholic population in Africa. Why is Africa witnessing the fastest growth in Catholic population worldwide? How can African Catholics use this population growth to drive the mission of God in Africa? How can African Catholics use its great population to influence the worldwide church on some of the contested moral issues of today?  They also propose how spirituality, morality, political culture and faith could grow in tandem with the growth in population of African Catholics. 
As the current session of the synod on synodality draws to a close, Fr Stan and Sr Chantal in this episode answer the question on the deliberative and consultative functions of the Synod of Bishops. They invite Catholics to pray for the synod in a special way during this final week. There is the need for the faithful to lower their expectations about changes in the Church's teaching because no synod has the power to change the doctrines of the Catholic Church since these are revealed truths. Synods can help the Church and her members under the leadership of the Pope and all the bishops in communion with him to discover the treasures of the Catholic faith, as well as to understand the mysteries and doctrines as revealed truths. A synod can also help to interpret these mysteries anew and pastorally guide the faithful on living their Christian faith with greater fidelity and commitment in obedience to God who through Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit has revealed these unchanging truths of faith and morality to the Church. 
Co-hosts, Sr Chantal and Fr Stan discuss the importance of silence during this important moment of synod on synodality. They discuss the reasons why Pope Francis invited the delegates not to talk to the press about the ongoing discussions. They speak about some of the concerns of Africa and address  the challenges facing educators in some parts of Africa, and the need for strengthening Catholic education in Africa and deepening the Catholic intellectual traditions in Africa. 
Fr Vitalis Anaehobi, Secretary-General of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa, RECOWA, speaks on how he and other African delegates prepared to represent Africa in the ongoing synod on synodality. He shares with God's people his hopes and prayers for the synod and urges everyone to trust in the Spirit of God who leads the church into the future in the direction of the eschatological reign of God. 
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