All is now set for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) which is being hosted on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria CBCN, by the Archbishop of Lagos, Most Reverend Alfred Adewale Martin.
Already many Catholic Bishops from all over Africa have arrived Nigerian for the ceremony which will begin today with a Pontifical high mass.
Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa and President, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo; Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo Olu; are among dignitaries expected at CEPACS 50th anniversary.
Themed: ‘CEPACS at 50: promoting a synodal church in Africa through communication,’ the event would begin with a Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral Lagos on Sunday, and continue at the Lumen Christi Television Premises in the Lekki area of Lagos on Monday.
Addressing journalists at the pre-event press briefing, the President of CEPACS and the Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Revd Emmanuel Badejo, said CEPACS was the African continental organ for social communications.
He said the organisation was founded in 1973 in Ibadan, Oyo State, by the Catholic Bishops under the auspices of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar with the mandate of promoting the management of communication activities in Africa, he said the organisation turns 50.
He said that the formation of CEPACS was inspired by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (PCSC) of the Vatican (now known as the Dicastery for Communication), and was established to help the bishops of Africa implement the Pastoral Instruction on the means of Social Communication which was ordered before then by the Second Vatican Council. The Pastoral Instruction, entitled: “Communio et Progressio” (Unity and Advancement)proclaimed the means of social communication as “gifts of God.” Itlaid down various guidelines on how to put these means to the best use for the spread of the gospel, how to train professionals and consumers who use them, how to understand their function in society, how to understand the rights and duties of the people of God towards them among other things.
Most Reverend Badejo said: “It is the responsibility of the church to do better and to make CEPACS known in Nigeria and fulfill its mission in Nigeria.
The Bishop added that “the 50th anniversary of CEPACS is the coming together of CEPACS Social Communication Officers from eight regions of CEPACS in Africa to do a reappraisal of the 50 years of CEPACS in Africa and discuss ways to improve on the dissemination of the right messages or contents to the general public that will be of Help to the society in this age of social media abuse.
“One of the great missions of its institution is to proclaim the good news of our salvation. To make Jesus known loved and followed. We have to do what we can to make CEPACS renewed and strong.
“The CEPAS assembly is an opportunity for evaluation and stock-taking on the work of CEPAS over these fifty years. It will hopefully reinvigorate CEPACS, propose new communications strategies for evangelization and update church structure and policies for the future.”