Archbishop Nikola Eterovic said this after the Holy See announced Saturday that Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, as the special secretary for the forthcoming assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
The African archbishop is replacing Bishop Wilhelm Emil Egger of Bolzano-Bressanone, Italy, who died of a heart attack Aug. 16.
The 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held Oct. 5-26 in the Vatican. The theme is "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."
"Undoubtedly attention is being given to Africa," Archbishop Eterovic told Vatican Radio.
"Africa is a very important continent for the Catholic Church," continued the archbishop. "Because it is dynamic, the number of believers is growing."
He added that the growth is not just "quantitative, but also at the qualitative level."
Archbishop Eterovic said he believes the archbishop of Kinshasa, "with his professional but also pastoral experience, will contribute to the reflection on the Word of God."
"Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo is a great expert in synodal activity, as he has taken part in several synods, and is also a member of our special councils and of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops," he added.
Archbishop Monsengwo, 68, is a native of Congo. He has served as the archbishop of Kinshasa since 1988.
He was secretary general of Congo's episcopal conference from 1976 to 1980, and president of the conference from 1980 to 1992.
As president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Archbishop Monsengwo has worked constantly for peace in his country and in the whole of Africa. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
He is the co-president of the executive committee of Pax Christi International.
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