Benedict XVI entrusted the fruits of the Africa synod to the faithful on the continent, urging them to the “salt and light” of their homeland.

The Pope said before praying the last midday Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, and after celebrating the concluding liturgy of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

The three-week assembly, which gathered 33 cardinals, 79 archbishops and 156 bishops, considered the theme “The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.”

“The synodal fathers, who have come from every country in Africa, have presented the rich reality of the local Churches,” the Pontiff said. “We have shared their joys for the dynamism of the Christian communities that continue to grow in quantity and quality.

The Holy Father said that special importance was given to the topic of the family, which he recalled is the “primary cell of society, but which today is threatened by foreign ideological currents.”

He also recalled the that the synod addressed Africa’s “great need of reconciliation, of justice and of peace.  “Animated by the Word of God and the Eucharist, she strives make it so that no one is deprived of the necessaries for living and that all may lead an existence worthy of the human being.”

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2009 (