This is a translation of the French speech on the missions schema delivered Oct. 13 by Eusebe Adjakpley, lay auditor from Togo.
In the first place, may I say how happy I am, as an African layman, to be speaking on behalf of the lay auditors before this assembly, which includes African cardinals and so many bishops from Africa? The fact that Africa is present here in this way is in itself an indication of what missionary endeavor has done for the Church’s universal implantation. I wish also to pay homage to the missionaries and to all who have given their life and their blood for this mission whether they are from Africa, from Asia or from elsewhere.
The group of auditors desires first of all to express its gratitude to the cardinal moderators who have graciously allowed us to speak again today, in relation to this schema to which we attach particular importance. After the doctrinal riches of the Constitution on the Church, after the new horizons opened up by the Decree on Ecumenism, after the great debates on the lay apostolate and the Church in the modern world, the present schema adds an indispensable teaching and a new call, which we receive with joy and wish to see eagerly welcomed by all lay members of the people of God.
We thank the Fathers who during the debate have stressed the essential relationship between this schema and the other conciliar texts which more directly concern the laity; we thank those who have even asked that our role in missionary activity should be still more clearly outlined. Continue reading