African Shipping Review Editor Joins the Vatican Communication Team

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George Sunguh – the Publisher and Managing Editor of the African Shipping Review – has been appointed as a member of the Vatican’s Communication Commission of the Synod of Bishops.

 

Sunguh who is the past immediate President of the Union of the Catholic African Press (UCAP) – the continental body that brings together Catholic media practitioners joined the 12-member team to serve the Mother Church at the Universal level.

 

There are four commissions namely: Theological, Spirituality, Methodological and Communication bringing 57 members in total.

 

The Commissioners drawn from around the world are charged with championing the ongoing two-year process to have a synodal Church that walks forward in communion to pursue a common mission through the participation of each and every one of her members. It culminates in a Synod on Synodality in Rome in October 2023.

 

In an interview with ACI Africa shortly after receiving his appointment letter from Cardinal Mario Grech, the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops during a recent visit to Rome, Mr. Sunguh said he does not take the opportunity for granted and will diligently serve the church from this new platform.

 

“I feel extremely honored and privileged to be appointed to serve the Mother Church at the Universal level,” Mr. Sunguh said, and added, “It’s indeed a humbling experience. I feel tossed into the deep end.”

 

“I will be brushing shoulders with top Clergy, theologians, spiritualists, scholars and communication experts as we help the Holy Father shape the destiny of the Church in the new journey of faith, through the Synod on Synodality,” he said.

 

He further said his appointment is something he will never take for granted and I asked the Holy Spirit to guide his steps on the new journey.

 

“I feel extremely honored and privileged” to serve the Universal Church in this capacity,” he told ACI Africa – a news service owned by the US-based Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

 

As stated in the appointment letter by Cardinal Grech: “the success of this synodal journey, convoked by the Holy Father, will depend greatly on our commission’s ability to communicate both within and outside the ecclesiastical community.”

 

To achieve this, Mr. Sunguh said, he will work closely with Catholic journalists in Africa to facilitate access to information about the synod as a top priority.

 

He told ACI Africa that he intends to “ensure a free flow of information from the Synod of Bishops to scribes on the African continent.”

 

Together we will put our best feet forward to deliver on this assignment,” Mr. Sunguh said.

 

He added, “The Synod of Bishops, as you are already aware, is the meeting of Bishops chosen from various regions of the world to assist the Pope with advice for the maintenance and advancement of faith and morals for the preservation and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline and also to study question concerning the Church’s action in the world.”

 

Africa has produced a total of six commissioners: Rev. Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS (Theology Commission). Sr. Hermenegild is the past immediate Secretary General of the Southern African Bishops Conference and a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in the Diocese of Mthatha in South Africa.

 

She made her first profession in 1976 and holds a higher diploma in education from the University of Transkei and a bachelor of theology from the University of Natal – Pietermaritzburg.

Nicholaus Segeja M’hela, from Tanzania, is a member of the Theology Commission and is the current head of Pastoral Theology at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

 

Fr. Paul Béré (Commission for Theology)  is a Jesuit biblical scholar from Burkina Faso, and a permanent teacher at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was among ten biblical scholars appointed on January 13, 2021, as new members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission by Pope Francis. On September 30, 2019, he emerged winner of the Ratzinger Prize awarded by the Benedict XVI – Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, in the Vatican, making him the first African theologian to win the Ratzinger Prize which rewards the work of theologians and specialists in related disciplines

Rev Sr. Prof. Anne-Béatrice Faye (Theology Commission) is a Senegalese and nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, Doctor of Philosophy and member of the Association of African Theologians (ATA). She is a member of the Concilium Advisory Board.

 

Bishop Hani Bakhoum Kiroulos also of the Communication Commission is a bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria, Egypt. He is in charge of the Radio Mariam mobile studios in Cairo.

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