Togo: No to questionable financing

The Togolese Catholic Bishops’ Conference has published a message in which it strongly reaffirms that there is no questionable funding for the activities of the Episcopal Justice and Peace Council.

Source: Translation from Camille Mukoso’s News , SJ- Vatican City

In a statement issued at the end of the 122nd Ordinary Session, held from 15 to 18 October 2019 in Daluag, Diocese of Dapaong, the Togolese Catholic Bishops’ Conference addressed a message to the Christian faithful of Togo to revive in them a new missionary impetus in the fulfilment of the mission of evangelization received at baptism.

Pious thought about the formation of priests

In this message, the Bishops of Togo indicated at the outset that they had devoted a large part of their session to examining the financial situation of various seminars in the country. They specify that due to the decrease in subsidies granted by the Holy See and the country’s cost of living, the seminars in Togo should be given more economic support. In this way they invite all the faithful and people of good will to take this call to heart by supporting the seminarians not only through prayer, but also materially and/or financially.

Call for respect for the will of the people

The Togolese episcopate also claims to have analysed the socio-political situation of the country which, in recent months, has experienced important events in its history: the legislative elections which led to the constitution of a new National Assembly, the constitutional and institutional reforms, the elections of municipal councillors and new mayors, as well as the upcoming presidential election in 2020. In this respect, it deplores, on the one hand, the tense atmosphere in which the parliamentary elections took place and, on the other hand, it calls on all those involved in the forthcoming presidential election to conduct the process in peace, transparency, justice and respect for the will of the citizens.

For a commitment in conformity with the evangelical counsels

In this perspective, the Togolese Bishops urge their Christians to pray and not to resign from their socio-political commitments, which are also part of their mission as baptized people. With the words of the Holy Bishop Oscar Arnulfo ROMERO, recalled on March 4, 2019 by Pope Francis, they invite them to make politics “a vocation of service for the common good”. To be a good politician, they point out, it is not necessary to be a Christian, but the Christian who engages in politics has an obligation to profess his faith. And if, in so doing, a conflict were to arise between loyalty to one’s faith and political loyalty, the Bishops continue, the true Christian must prefer his faith and show that his struggle for justice is for the justice of the Kingdom of God.

No questionable funding for the activities of the Episcopal Council for Justice and Peace

It is in this regard that the Togolese Catholic Bishops’ Conference denied the government’s allegations about the existence of questionable funding in the activities of its Justice and Peace Commission. “Our messages are dictated by fidelity to the Gospel and by the search for the common good,” the Bishops said. This clarification follows the reason given a few months ago by the Togolese government for refusing accreditation to the “Action Chrétienne pour l’Abolition de la Torture et de la Peine de Mort”, during the parliamentary elections at the end of last year. This organization and its partners wanted to deploy approximately 3,000 election observers across the country for the 2020 election.

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