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The success of Catholic microfinance in Africa

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Every day, Aleteia offers you a selection of articles from the international press concerning the Church and the major debates that concern Catholics throughout the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editorial staff.

Friday, December 9, 2022

1 – In Africa, Catholic microfinance in full development
2 – “The Church is a great laboratory of culture”, says Cardinal Tolentino
3 – Experts study the “miracle” attributed to the intercession of the parents of John Paul II
4 – The misfortune of the churches of the Middle East faced with the emigration of their faithful
5 – Arrested Ukrainian priests “were tortured mercilessly”, says Archbishop

1In Africa, Catholic microfinance in full development

The Cross Africa returns to the development of micro-finance tools in line with Catholic ethics. Thus, Caurie-Microfinance, an institution linked to the Catholic Church in Senegal, concerns nearly 140,000 clients, 90% of whom are women, mainly in the field of small business. Despite the slowdown induced by the anti-Covid measures, the Catholic microfinance sector in Senegal is proving to be robust, with production for the year 2021 of 21 billion CFA francs (around 32 million euros), and a outstanding loans of more than 14.6 billion CFA francs (more than 22 million euros) at the end of the year. In addition to Senegal, the Church in Africa has been increasingly involved in finance in recent years, particularly in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and, more recently, in Malawi, where the diocese of the capital Lilongwe bought a bank.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the experience of the Catholic Savings and Credit Fund (FCEC), launched in 2008 in the diocese of Yamoussoukro, is even in the process of being extended to other dioceses in the country. “Clients are men and women of all religious denominations, cooperatives, associations, small and medium-sized businesses, parishes, Catholic action groups and movements,” says Estelle Etché, the general manager of the FCEC. But this activity arouses strong reservations among some faithful Catholics, such as the Ivorian Elie Mobio, who points out the contradictions of this mode of development: “Investing in finance, for a Church that wants to be poor, if not for the African Church serve two masters at the same time as Christ proscribes in the Gospel? Even if it starts from a good will, the loans granted are not loans at zero rates, he comments. When we know the risks of such an activity, we can legitimately fear that the Church will squander its funds, as in the story of the purchase of a building in Great Britain by the Vatican“, wonders this Catholic Ivorian.

The Cross AfricaFrench

2“The Church is a great laboratory of culture”, says Cardinal Tolentino

Appointed head of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, Cardinal José Tolentino Mendonça emphasized to Ecclesia, the Catholic agency of its country of origin, Portugal, the importance of culture in the mission of the Church. Describing the latter as a “precious laboratory of cultural hope in many respects”, he insists on the fact that what is lived inside the Church “is not only a matter of religion”. The prefect, who is a recognized poet in his country, wishes to recall the Christian inspiration of many artistic creations which testifies to the “vitality of the faith” over the centuries.

This Christian cultural experience is useful, he insists, in that it can be a “place to meet or rediscover Christianity”. The Church can also rely on the “largest educational network in the world” with more than 2,000 universities and thousands of schools throughout the world. This is a “privileged interface with the world”, underlines Cardinal Tolentino. In charge of both culture and education at the Vatican, he took his appointment by the Pope as a challenge and wishes “to show how the Christian experience is a focus of cultural creation relevant to contemporary culture”.

Ecclesia, Portuguese

3AND ALSO IN THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS…

Experts study the “miracle” attributed to the intercession of the parents of John Paul II

Father Sławomir Oder, who also served as a postulator for the Polish Pope’s cause, told the Catholic news agency KAI that he had received several reports of alleged miracles linked to Emilia and Karol Wojtyła. They will be studied.

The PillarEnglish

The misfortune of the churches of the Middle East in the face of the emigration of their faithful

Widespread persecution, especially in recent years, has taken its toll on the world’s oldest Christian communities.

UCA News, English

Arrested Ukrainian Priests ‘Were Tortured Without Mercy’, Archbishop Says

On November 16, Father Ivan Levitsky and Father Bohdan Geleta were arrested in the city of Berdyansk in southeastern Ukraine.

The TabletEnglish

POPE-FRANCIS-Immaculate-Conception-December-08-2022
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