Bishops in South Sudan Write to Pope Francis, Express Gratitude for Donation
CANAA || By Father Don Bosco Onyalla, Nairobi || 29 June 2017
The President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) has written to Pope Francis expressing appreciation for financial assistance, which the Holy Father has pledged to give.
On June 21, 2007, Peter Cardinal Turkson who heads Vatican-based office for Promoting Integral Human Development announced that the Holy Father was donating some half a million US dollars to South Sudan through the initiative, “The Pope for South Sudan.”
“On my behalf as the President of Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SCBC) and on behalf of my brother Bishops of the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, I wish to express my sincere heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to His Holiness Pope Francis for his whole hearted support to South Sudan,” Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala has stated in the letter dated June 25, which he shared with CANAA.
The funding is expected to assist war-stricken South Sudan in the areas of education, healthcare and agricultural projects under the leadership of Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS), a group of religious and missionary congregations overseeing capacity building of teachers, health practitioners, pastoral agents, and farmers through their coordination office in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, and its international headquarters in Rome.
“Despite the postponement of papal pastoral visitation to South Sudan, your solidarity and commitment for the country has been felt by your generous support and donation for the country,” Bishop Barani has stated in the letter and added, “We want to thank you for the Love in action, kind attention, solidarity, enthusiasm, courage and support for the needy people of South Sudan that your Holiness has brought to the papacy over the past years.”
The Vatican had been planning for the Holy Father to visit South Sudan sometime in October this year, an ecumenical trip that would have seen Pope Francis travel together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed to journalists on May 30, that the trip would not take place in 2017. He said that the trip was still being considered but did not provide any timing when the trip might take place.
On June 6, Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan expressed the hope that the Holy Father’s trip was just postponed, not canceled.
In the letter of appreciation for the Pope’s grant to South Sudan, Bishop Barani has assured the Holy Father of good stewardship saying, “The accountability of this grant donation will surely arrive to Your Holiness when administered.”
“We promise that we shall continue to pray for you always in our daily Prayers, we humbly invite your Holy Apostolic Blessing of Peace on us all in Sudan and South Sudan!” the Bishops have stated in conclusion.
Below is the full statement of the letter by South Sudan Bishops to the Holy Father
NO. OL/0014/SCBC/017 25th June 2017
His Holiness Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
Ref: THANK YOU HOLY FATHER FOR DONATION OF $ 500,000 USD
The ‘Door of Faith’ is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry in his Church.-Porta Fidei 1
On my behalf as the President of Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SCBC) and on behalf of my brother Bishops of the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, I wish to express my sincere heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to His Holiness Pope Francis for his whole hearted support to South Sudan.
Since Independence of South Sudan, the county has undergone many uncountable challenges; many people have lost their lives, many displaced and majority are seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries. It is evidenced that the country is not stable due to the on and off political instability that deprives the development of the country.
Despite the postponement of papal pastoral visitation to South Sudan, your solidarity and commitment for the country has been felt by your generous support and donation for the country. This donation will be very useful to provide relief food to the displaced citizens in the refugee camps, create extensive awareness on peace building and promote the dignity of the marginalized with the aim of realizing an everlasting development and peace.
We want to thank you for the Love in action, kind attention, solidarity, enthusiasm, courage and support for the needy people of South Sudan that your Holiness has brought to the papacy over the past years. As a body of Your Catholic Christians in South Sudan, Your Prayers, Your words of support, Your appeal for Peace, Your heartfelt intention to visit us, Your call for humanitarian intervention for us, and Your recent financial grant another God’s marvel at your holy hands! All these have given us a newfound confidence and strength in the upholding of the dignity of all human life, striving for holiness of life, peace-building activities, support of the most needy, etc.
Honestly on behalf of my brothers and sisters in in Sudan and South Sudan, your kind great financial donation to us this time of need has added to the millions of reasons we must thank You, dear Holy Father! And that is the grace of your pontificate.
It began in those exciting early days. Recall the foot-washing ceremony on Holy Thursday? What did the foot-washing represent? Perhaps Jesus’ awareness that those who lead must first of all serve. When you washed the feet of those youthful prisoners, boys and girls, Christians and non-Christians, you made it clear that Jesus’ message of ultimate self-sacrifice in the service of others is that it must have universal appeal.
Holy Father! You continue to set good example of how a prelate must approach politics when you have taken your valiant stand on some countries such; Central African Republic, Egypt, Islamic terrorists attacks on innocent lives, Syrian and my countries of Sudan and South Sudan interventions. You have very generously in a consistent approach informed the world that violence begets violence in your call for peace, which is not driven by partisan motives but by a desire to spare innocent lives, transcended narrow political boundaries. Your prayers are being heartfelt and I believe they are achieving tangible results already now.
The Church proclaims the sacredness of life and the dignity of the human person as the foundation of a moral and vision for society. We as the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, we are strongly committed to promote the principle of common good thus the value of human life and alleviate human sufferings caused by the various calamities (violence, famine, drought, unequal distribution of resource, political instability, insecurity and etc.)
I am humbled and honoured to acknowledge the whole hearted financial support of $ 500, 000 USD, our Holy Father, Pope Francis. May you be blessed and rewarded by our Heaven Father. The grant has been designated into the abled trustworthy hands of our beloved Missionaries (Comboni Missionaries, Solidarity with Sudan) who have remained us during the worst of ourselves but never abandoned us in the mission. This is a great encouragement and stipends for them to continue to support the poor of this nation. The accountability of this grant donation will surely arrive to Your Holiness when administered.
The Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference is optimistic that the Holy Father will surely reconsider the Papal pastoral visitation to grace the torn apart country of South Sudan.
We promise that we shall continue to pray for you always in our daily Prayers, we humbly invite your Holy Apostolic Blessing of Peace on us all in Sudan and South Sudan!
I invoke all God’s blessings and Wisdom upon you,
Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio &
President of Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference