23/10/2009 2:15 pm
Hundreds of Bishops from Africa and a select number from outside the continent met in Rome from 4-25 October 2009 to discuss the Catholic Church in Africa.
The theme of the Special Assembly was The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.”You are the Salt of the Earth...You are the Light of the World” (Mt 5:13,14).
The Rt Revd John Rawsthorne was invited by Pope Benedict XVI to take part in discussions. Bishop Rawsthorne, as well as being Bishop of Hallam, is a former Chair of CAFOD's board of trustees (the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development).
Synod discussions focused on a wide range of issues and challenges facing the diverse continent of 53 countries - from HIV/AIDS, poverty and governance to women's issues, migration and family life.
This was the second Special Assembly for Africa, the first was convened by Pope John Paul II in 1994.
Just days before the conclusion of the Special Assembly, we joined Bishop John Rawsthorne from Vatican Radio's studios in Rome. Bishop Rawsthorne took part in a round table discussion with Cecilia Taylor-Camara, Senior Policy Officer for the Bishops' Conference Office for Migration Policy (OMP) and Mgr John Dale who was the National Director of Missio - the Church's official mission support agency in England and Wales - until Autumn 2011.
You can listen to the round table discussion in full by using the audio player in the top right corner of the page.
Part 1: 9m 19s
Part 2: 10m 58s
Part 3: 13m 47s