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Juba, South Sudan, Mar 16, 2017 / 03:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid war, displacement and hunger, South Sudan's day of prayer must lead to true repentance, a leading Catholic bishop has said.“Our call to prayer must be sincere and honest!” Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro of Tombura-Yambio emphasized. “For this prayer to become historical and meaningful for us today we must repent and sin no more!”Bishop Hiiboro, president of the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference, spoke in Yamibo on the March 10 day of prayer.The country has been embroiled in civil war since December 2013, when South Sudan's President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup. The war has been fought between their supporters, largely along ethnic lines, and peace agreements have been short-lived.The conflict has created 2.5 million refugees. At present an estimated 4.5 million people face severe food insecurity, a number expected to rise one million by Ju...
Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro has challenged South Sudan President, Salva Kiir to work towards stopping the war and ensure that government soldiers behave professionally.The President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC), Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro of Tombura-Yambio Diocese challenged the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit to take a “serious lead in putting in place concrete steps, which have to hold the nation as one.”Bishop Hiiboro said this in Yambio over the weekend, during the countrywide National Day of Prayer called for by President Kiir.Bishop Hiiboro challenged South Sudanese leadership represented by President Kiir as well as citizens to repent saying, “For this prayer to become historical and meaningful for us today we must repent and sin no more!”He urged President Kiir to take responsibility and bring about positive change saying, “The whole South Sudan will be watching President Salva Kiir very cl...
(Vatican Radio)  South Sudan's President Salva Kiir called for a National Day of Prayer for peace and forgiveness on 10 March and urged citizens to turn out in high numbers.Renewed political tensions and violent clashes between government forces and the opposition have resulted in tens of thousands of vulnerable people fleeing their homes and their lands. A famine was recently declared in some states, and an estimated 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile Pope Francis has said he is studying the possibility of an ecumenical visit to war-torn South Sudan together with the leader of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Justin Welby.On the ground, Churches of different denominations including the Catholic and Anglican Churches - which count the largest followings - are urging the people to put aside differences and commit to dialogue on nation building.Father Michael Perry, Minister General of the Order of the Friars Minor has just returned fro...
Juba, South Sudan, Mar 8, 2017 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The call by South Sudan's president for a national day of prayer was met with derision by one of the country's bishops, who called it a “political prayer” and a mockery.President Salva Kiir addressed South Sudan via state-owned media last week to announce a day of prayer on March 10. The country has been embroiled in civil war since December 2013, when Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup. The war has been fought between their supporters, largely along ethnic lines, and peace agreements have been short-lived.“I have been praying for South Sudan every day. This morning, I prayed for South Sudan. That prayer called by Salva Kiir; I will never and never understand. Unless they carry me as a corpse but I will never attend that prayer. It is a political prayer. It is a mockery,” Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale, Auxiliary Bishop of Juba, told Voice of America, according t...
Rome, Italy, Feb 8, 2017 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As human trafficking continues to be a supremely important issue during Pope Francis’ pontificate, with an estimated 20 million victims worldwide, St. Josephine Bakhita, enslaved during her own childhood, has emerged as a patron not only for her home country of Sudan, but for all victims of trafficking.St. Josephine was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the age of 7, undergoing immense suffering throughout her adolescence before discovering the faith in her early 20s. She was baptized, and after being freed entered the Canossian Sisters in Italy.Feb. 8, St. Josephine’s feast day, marks the third international day of prayer and reflection against human trafficking. This year the day focuses on the plight of children, with the theme: “We are children! Not slaves!”The first year, celebrated in more than 154 countries, was strongly supported by Pope Francis.If Pope Francis visits the African countries of Sout...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis appealed to government leaders to be strong in the fight against the scourge of human trafficking.Marking Wednesday’s ‘International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking’ marked annually on 8 February, and focusing this year on the trafficking of children and adolescents,  the Pope had words of encouragement for all those who in different ways, help minors who have been enslaved and abused to be freed from this terrible oppression.“I urge all those in government positions to combat this scourge with firmness, giving voice to our younger brothers and sisters who have been wounded in their dignity. All efforts must be made to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime” he said.      He explained that the 'International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking" falls on the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakita: "this enslaved, exploited and humiliated girl in A...
By Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Marking the feast of St. JosephineBakhita, a former slave, Pope Francis urged Christians to help victims of humantrafficking and migrants, especially the Rohingya people being chased fromMyanmar.For the Catholic Church, St. Bakhita's feast day, Feb. 8, is aday of prayer for victims of trafficking.Pope Francis asked government officials around the world to"decisively combat this plague" of human trafficking, payingparticular attention to trafficking in children. "Every effort must bemade to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime."Describing St. Bakhita as a "young woman who wasenslaved in Africa, exploited, humiliated," Pope Francis said she nevergave up hope and, finally, she was able to migrate to Europe.Holding up a booklet with a photograph of the Sudanesesaint, who died in Italy in 1947, the pope continued telling her story. InEurope, he said, "she heard the call of the Lord and became a nun,"joining the Canossian Daughters of Charity...
(Vatican Radio) The exploitation and enslavement of children is the focus of a week of activities leading up to the February 8th world day of prayer for an end to human trafficking.Three years ago, Pope Francis asked women and men religious to organize a day, on the feast of the Sudanese saint Josephine Bakhita, to raise awareness of the plight of millions of victims of human trafficking.At a press conference on Wednesday sisters from the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) held a press conference to announce initiatives taking place in countries around the world, focused this year on the theme of children in slavery.Here in Rome, activities include a seminar at the Gregorian University, a film evening, a prayer vigil at the Rome parish of Ognissanti on the Via Appia and participation in the Pope’s general audience.To find out more about the focus for this year’s event, Philippa Hitchen spoke to the president of the UISG, Sr Carmen Sammut…..Listen:&n...
Vatican City, Jan 4, 2017 / 09:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Salesians in the Bangalore province of India held a prayer vigil Jan. 4 for the release of Salesian priest Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in Yemen March 4, 2016.The prayer vigil, confirmed to CNA by the Salesian province of Bangalore, marks 10 months since the priest’s abduction during an armed attack on a Missionaries of Charity-run retirement home in Aden, the provincial capital of Yemen.Bangalore provincial superior Fr. Joyce Thonikuzhiyil requested the 11 Salesian communities of South Asia to mark Jan. 4 as “a day of prayer with an hour of Eucharistic adoration” for the purpose of “intensifying our prayerful efforts” for the safe release of the priest, according to religious news site Matters India.The day of prayer comes after a video was posted to YouTube Dec. 26 of Fr. Tom personally appealing to Pope Francis, and bishops all over the world, for help.“Dear Pope Francis…as ...
IMAGE: CNSBy VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Pontifical Commission for theProtection of Minors has launched a beta version of its website in English andhas included its template for local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse,resources for a day of prayer for the victims and survivors as well as amailing address to contact commission members.The website -- www.protectionofminors.va -- eventually will includeversions in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, the commission said in astatement Dec. 6.Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals identifiedthe protection of children and young adults as one of the church's priorityneeds and suggested in December 2013 that he create a commission to advise himand assist dioceses and religious orders around the world in drawing up guidelines,handling accusations and ministering to victims and survivors. Pope Francisnamed the first members three months later and appointed as president CardinalSean P. O'Malley of Boston.- - -Copyright © 2016 C...
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