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bookmark_borderAFRICA/UGANDA – Bishop of Lira to priests: “Always stay focused and firm to overcome challenges”

Lira – “The vocation to serve as a priest is a commitment that must be embraced with love and perseverance in the midst of challenges”. This is what the Bishop of the diocese of Lira, Mgr. Sanctus Lino Wanok said on the occasion of the Eucharistic celebration for his 35th anniversary of priesthood. “Love, perseverance and humility are among the basic conditions for success in the priestly ministry. Anyone who is called to serve as a priest – we read in the note sent to Fides – should be accompanied in a solid and spiritual journey and sustained in his formation, with the aim of abtaining a positive result in the Church”.
According to the text, the Bishop implored the priests to remain focused and steadfast despite the challenges, and, above all, to trust in Providence and in God’s care. “We must remain committed and determined in the fulfillment of our priestly obligations despite the many challenges that afflict the Church today”, he said, addressing the priests present. While thanking all those who have contributed to his priestly journey since his ordination in 1986, Mgr. Sanctus recognized the great support given to him by his parents and all those who guided him during his formation. His Excellency Mgr. Sanctus Lino Wanok was ordained a priest in 1986. In 2011, he was consecrated third Bishop of the Diocese of Nebbi before being appointed Ordinary of the Diocese of Lira in 2018.

bookmark_borderAMERICA/PERU – Archbishop of Arequipa on the current situation in the country: “We can only overcome the crisis together”

Arequipa – “The bicentenary of our national independence confronts us with a multidimensional crisis, perhaps the worst in our life as a republic. The health crisis that has intensified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has triggered add to the political and social crisis that we have been going through for several years and the end of which is not in sight. The candidate Pedro Castillo won the presidential election with just over 40,000 votes ahead of the candidate Keiko Fujimori. Peru was already divided, and the appointment of the new cabinet of ministers has not raised hopes of national unity”, this is how the Archbishop of Arequipa, Javier Del Río Alba, describes the current situation in Peru.
Mgr. Del Río Alba, recalls the words of Pope Francis on the crises: “Every crisis represents a crossroads: we can withdraw into ourselves, seeking our own security and expediency, or we can be open to others, which entails risks but also God’s promised fruits of grace” . The big challenge for Peru today is to open up “to others” in search of a common project for the country, which despite its 200-year republican history is still under construction. And in the face of this challenge, which is at the same time a great opportunity presented by the bicentenary, civil society could play a historical role if it did not allow itself to be beaten by polarization, but instead chooses to tear down walls through political charity and building bridges of social friendship. It is necessary to do this and expect the authorities to do it too instead of continuing to distance themselves in sterile confrontations based on ideologies or personal interests that end up harming people”, stresses the Archbishop of Arequipa.
The note sent to Fides continues with the Archbishop’s invitation: “For this reason, it is essential that the citizens assume a greater political responsibility, which includes not only the party but also other forms of active participation in the life of the polis, by cooperating, each starting from the situation in which he finds himself, in the construction of a more just and more fraternal society”.
“We Peruvians are called to come out better from the crisis in which we find ourselves and we will do so insofar as we work together, because as Francis also says: “either we will overcome the crisis together or we will not”. The path is dialogue at all levels, the integration of large parts of the population who have been marginalized up to now, the appreciation of integrating diversity and the “common search for the holistic human development of every single Peruvian”.

bookmark_borderAFRICA/ESWANTINI – Appeals for dialogue to overcome the crisis are multiplying

Mbabane – The alarms of international organizations are multiplying over the situation in the small southern African state of Eswantini . After the appeal for reconciliation launched at the Angelus on Sunday, July 4 , the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also asked “the government to guarantee that investigations are carried out in a timely, transparent, effective, independent and impartial manner on all allegations of human rights violations, including those committed by the police in the context of demonstrations, and that those responsible are held accountable. The spate of violence taking place throughout the country and the damage to people’s properties is concerning, as reports show dozens of people killed or injured in protests to demand democratic reforms”. The Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa condemned “extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate arrests , abductions and torture” committed by the police forces in the repression of the protests. In their statement, sent to Fides, the members of IMBISA also condemn “the destruction of both public and private property” because it is damage inflicted “on the common good since property is necessary for the integral development of the Country”. In a note dated July 2, sent to Fides, the Council of Churches of Swaziland expresses great concern about the wave of violence that is occurring throughout the country and the damage to people and property”. The leaders of the Christian confessions of Esuantini wonder what the causes of the crisis are. “The Covid-19 that has affected the whole world disturbed the lives of many
people to the extent that they lost their jobs, thus exacerbating the high levels of poverty already
existing in the country. Non availability of job opportunities rendered the youth vulnerable and frustrated”. This generated a wave of protests which were brutally suppressed. If most of the looting was the work of the demonstrators – the statement said – the police were responsible for extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and torture. “We are also
hearing stories of people who have been abducted from their homes by security agents and relatives are still looking for them”, they denounce. “Nobody alone has the solution to get out of the crisis”, say Christian leaders, who point to the path of dialogue as the only way to find a compromise solution that can be accepted by all parties.

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