Opinion

Catholic Church must maintain good reputation, standards and ethics

By: Joseph Akim Gordon

The Catholic Church is a universal church which came to existence in South Sudan more than hundred years ago, the church over the years has served this country with dedication during the liberation struggle, and played a leading role in serving people of God. In war times Archbishop Paulino Loro rescued many who were alleged to be rebels by providing education/training and health services including humanitarian interventions.

The Catholic Church together with other churches play key role in peace negotiation, the Catholic Church continue to support the vulnerable, marginalized people. It is only the church that was brave enough to point where the government failed to address the grievances. During the struggle, many went as refugees to other countries but the church was determined never to leave the country and indeed it made South Sudan population not to run away, the stand of the church gave courage to the marginalized.

It is worth to note that there was confusion over appointment of new Archbishop, the new archbishop to be consecrated soon. But some individual clergy and people in the Government were opposed to the appointment of new archbishop, those in the Government, together with some clergy created tension among the people of God.

The Catholic or the Vatican has the responsibility of appointment of Archbishop, the church has to recommend few names and Pope then will appoint one of them for position of Archbishop. the  clergy  should not claim that because the Church head quarter located is in Bari land does not mean that all the church positions be led by Bari. The church should adhere to the principles of universality of the Catholic Church. The clear example is that the present Pope is not an Italian, he is native of Argentina, the Italians did not oppose as to why an Argentine was appointed as Archbishop.

This is the second time the Catholic Church has plunged the congregation into another confusion over appointment of bishop. The church in Yei sent the names of their candidates to Juba to be forwarded to the Pope to appoint one of the candidates. The people of Yei were expecting that one of their sons would be the first bishop for Yei.

The reply was that the Bishop of Yei was already nominated by Pope, this move created instability to the extent people Yei blocked others, went far as Lanya and because of mounting pressure the inauguration was conducted in Juba,  it took time before the congregation  of  Yei cooled down.

Because of Yei incident, the church should not have repeated the same mistakes made over appointment of bishop of Yei.

Those Government officials   should not drag the Catholic Church into problems that are difficult to resolve, Catholic Church must become vigilant, and they should not involve or introduce dirty politics into the church.

In conclusion, it is crucial to note that the Catholic Church belongs to God; therefore, nobody can undermine its work program, particularly do not use your authority to destabilize the church, whether you are wealthy play your politics within the Government not to bring dirty politics into the church.

Note that even if you have become wealthy, do not go to the church and plant seeds of hatred to destabilize the church after all this church belongs to Christ himself, those church hierarchies are there to administer the church, they are not the owners of the church. The clergy also should not allow themselves to be manipulated by some highly-placed politicians.

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