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Sunday, December 11, 2016
Sudan: church pledges active role in rebuilding country
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¬†The Church in Sudan intends to play an active role in the peace process "as the mouthpiece of civil society" and "a collaborator in reconstruction". This was the message contained in a pastoral letter drawn up by the Sudanese Bishops' Conference at a recent special meeting on peace in Nairobi, Kenya. Released by Mgr Cesare Mazzolari, a Comboni missionary and Bishop of Rumbek (southern Sudan), on Friday, the document opens by stating that "peace seems to have found a home in this country" but adds that it is a concept that is "precious and fragile at the same time, which needs to be welcomed, maintained and strengthened". Recalling the suffering of the population during the 20-year conflict between the government and SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) in the south of the country and stressing the importance of four elements ≠ "freedom, love, truth and justice" ≠ the ecclesiastical community asks to play an active role in post-war Sudan. "Church, State and all people of goodwill must come together to bring an end to illegality, crime and anarchy if we want a lasting peace in Sudan." To guarantee order and security, the prelates suggest "the disarmament of all non-military personnel". "Measures for crime prevention", correct moral behaviour by the whole population and possible amnesties exclusively "in the respect of those who have suffered injustice." The bishops also said the Church "means to participate with the State in spirit and in the letter in drawing up the new constitution and in renewing the legal system". Still determined to be the "voice of the people", the Sudanese Church also intends "to have the possibility of taking decisions within government structures" together with other civil society groups. In particular, the prelates commit to working with the state authorities "in the rehabilitation of people and services" and in the fields of "education, health and complementary humanitarian assistance, particularly to the weakest and most marginalised." These include refugees and the internally displaced, for whom the prelates urge the best possible care, calling on the international community to look after them in close collaboration with the interim government and with the Church itself. Finally, the bishops suggest reflecting on the words of John Paul II: "To establish true peace in the world, justice must find completeness in charity." They said: "No solution can be found to the serious problems that afflict many countries until a decision is taken that transcends the logic of simple justice and opens to that of forgiveness." Source: MISNA
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