Article Details Writing from Rome this week, NCR senior correspondent John L Allen Jr. asks what does the Synod for Africa, which is two-thirds complete, means to the larger Catholic community; reports that Obama and the Vatican have joined forces on HIV/AIDS; and reviews Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book on ecumenism.
http://ncronline.org/files/africasynod09.jpg?1255705137 Marguerite Barankitse, a synod participant from Burundi, greets a bishop as they leave a session of the Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican. (CNS/Paul Haring)
A Synod of Bishops is styled as an event of the universal church, so even when it focuses on a specific region, as with the Oct. 4-25 Synod for Africa, it’s still directed at the whole Catholic world. From an American point of view, therefore, there’s nothing wrong with looking at the synod, now two-thirds complete, and asking: What does it mean for us?
It’s actually a terrific question, for two reasons.