"The Church is not against the government", said His Exc. Mgr. Erkolano Lodu Tombe, Bishop of Yei, in south Sudan, who reiterated the commitment of Catholic Bishops in providing support to the government through peace initiatives.
The local Bishops' Conference has recently denounced the war crimes
committed by government military and other armed groups against
"Despite appeals to all parties to stop the war, killings,
rapes, forced displacement, attacks on churches and destruction of
property continue throughout the Country", say the Bishops of South
Sudan in their pastoral message entitled "The voice of one crying out in
The civil war between government forces and rebels has now been
transformed into a series of ethnic conflicts that have devastated the
Country, causing a serious humanitarian crisis.
"Our country is gripped by a humanitarian crisis – famine, insecurity
and economic hardship. Our people are struggling simply to survive",
underline the Bishops.
"There is no doubt that this famine is man-made, due to insecurity and
poor economic management". Hunger, in turn, creates insecurity, in a
vicious circle in which "the hungry man, especially if he has a gun, may
resort to looting to feed himself and his family".
In their message, the Bishops stressed that "the Church is not for or
against anyone, neither the government nor the opposition. We are for
all good things - peace, justice, love, forgiveness, reconciliation,
dialogue, the rule of law, good governance - and against evil -
violence, killing, rape, torture, looting, corruption, arbitrary
detention, tribalism, discrimination, oppression – regardless of where
they are and who is practising them".
"We are ready to dialogue with and
between the government and the opposition at any time", the Bishops