A Brief Comment on the Church in Africa
In light of the recent consistory and election of new cardinals, of which two were from Africa, the page below has some good figures of the number of cardinals from Africa and, in particular, Nigeria. 27 African cardinals in total, the 3rd largest bloc of cardinals of all the regions of the world.
One of them could be the next pope some day.
It reminds me of a quote attributed to Nelson Mandela on the Catholic Church years ago:
“I am very grateful to the Catholic Church. When black people couldn’t even get on a bus, the Catholic Church made them bishops and cardinals.”
I haven’t done the research to see if he actually said, but even though the Church’s history is not absolutely spotless in this regard in some other parts of the world, this was still true in the last century. And fruits of this continue today in Africa and now even in the US with the appointment of the first African American cardinal in 2020 (putting whatever personal viewpoints one may have about Cardinal Gregory aside for the moment) and the two bishops named Fabre this year.
Lastly, I just want to remark also on how faithful and strong the Church in Africa is even as Christians face fierce persecution in some regions on a regular basis. And in particular Nigeria – I follow pages on here and Twitter, and it seems that just about every week or two there are consistent news about kidnappings and killings of Christians.
Yet their faith remains incredibly strong as they hold up the truth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church in the various African nations is growing by leaps as she sees decline in the West.
So keep the Church in Africa in your prayers.
Picture originally from the Catholic Broadcast Commission,Nigeria Facebook page. Used under Fair Use.