He added, “My mission of touring and visiting the refugees in the neighboring countries was to spread the Gospel of Christ.”
“I went to visit the refugees where they are to share the word of God with them because they are our people and we need to be with them,” Bishop Lodiong said, and added, “This is in fulfillment of the Church pledge to contribute to peace, reconciliation, healing and holistic development across the State.”
“We also need them to stay in peace among themselves until they will return to their places,” the South Sudanese Bishop in reference to refugees in camps located in Uganda and DRC.
He added, “I have also visited them to see their situation where they are because such people normally live in a difficult situation.”
The 51-year-old Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry on May 15 underscored the need for spiritual solidarity with the suffering South Sudanese, saying, “We will be able to convince our people to have peace in their hearts through prayers.”
He appealed to the leadership of Equatoria State to make available essential facilities and renovate the dilapidated infrastructure to facilitate the return and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.
“I am appealing to the State Government to rehabilitate facilities like schools, healthcare centers and road network to expedite the return program of those still in refuge and displacement camps,” Bishop Lodiong told journalists at the Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat in Juba on October 4.
The South Sudanese Catholic Bishop appealed for dialogue in line with the Rome Peace Initiative, saying, “We are calling on all armed holdout groups to denounce violence and opt for dialogue as the only peaceful way to settle the prevailing political differences.”
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