“We certainly need prayer at the moment: prayer for our country, prayer for those who take decisions that matters the lives of the citizens of this country, prayer for those who are suffering hunger, thirst, illness, rejection, lack of basic necessities, for those who are displaced and imprisoned,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say.
In their collective message addressed to “all the Catholic Clergy, Religious men and women, the lay faithful and people of good will,” the Catholic Church leaders reconfirm their “firm trust in God” and say that it is “knowing (that) God has the power to change our difficulties that we have been praying and have continued to invite all to pray for peace.”
They invite the people of God in the Horn of Africa nation to a serious examination of conscience and resolve to foster peace.
“As Christians, as Catholics, each and every one of us should be able to stand up and declare unreservedly and unconditionally, like the Psalmist, ‘I am for peace’. The way of peace reconciles conflicts and regenerates the beauty of fraternity, which heals all wounds,” CBCE members say.
They add, “We ought to help one another to believe in the patient and unassuming power of dialogue. A culture of dialogue should be encouraged within the society and the Church will play her role in an eventual inclusive national dialogue in Ethiopia.”
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“As religious leaders our voice shall be a voice that promotes fraternity, unity among communities, a voice that gives hope to people who suffer and with our good model of fraternal love influence the society,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say in their four-page collective message shared with ACI Africa December 22.
They highlight the Catholic Church’s contribution to address the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia adding that the Church “shall continue to scale up her efforts as her mission calls her to suffer with people who suffer, share the pains and the anxieties of humanity.”
“The Catholic Church shall raise Eth. Birr 100,000,000 (US$2 million) with the support of Church partners, local Catholic Institutions and Catholic faithful to support the people in crisis due to war and other natural crisis and in the effort of rehabilitation of the country,” CBCE members reveal.
The Catholic Church in Ethiopia, they add, “will try her best to alleviate the suffering of the people together with all actors.”
“We would like to invite all Catholics and people of good will of our country as did the Holy Father to the people in Greece to ask for the grace to believe that with God things really do change, that he will banish our fears, heal our wounds, turn our arid places into springs of water,” the Bishops say in reference to Pope Francis’ visit to Cyprus and Greece earlier this month.
They add, “Let us ask for the grace of hope, since hope revives our faith and rekindles our charity. It is for this hope that the deserts of today's world are thirsting. It is our responsibility as Ethiopians to heal the wounds of one another.”
“During this assembly we have also discussed in detail on the synodal journey of our church. We have agreed to facilitate the synodal journey to be an opportunity in which priests, religious, parishioners, youth, and children could take part and make it a style of life of the church in Ethiopia,” CBCE members further say.
“May the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which we are look forward to celebrating soon, be a joyful celebration of peace and reconciliation,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say, and add, “May God protect Ethiopia and bless the people with grace and peace! Amen!!!”