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Let’s Rebuild Our “badly broken” Diocese: Bishop in South Sudan to Natives of His See

Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo of South Sudan's Yei Diocese during the October 29 meeting. Credit: ACI Africa

The Catholic Bishop of Yei Diocese in South Sudan has called upon the natives of his Episcopal See residing in the capital city to join him in initiatives to rebuild the “badly broken” South Sudanese Diocese.

Speaking during a meeting with members of the Catholic community of Yei Diocese based in South Sudan’s capital city, Juba, Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo underscored the potential of the natives of his Episcopal See to make the Diocese “begin rising again”. 

“You are the people we are going to work with; we have to work together to rebuild our Diocese destroyed during the conflict because it's a task for all of us,” Bishop Lodiong said during the Saturday, October 29 meeting.

Making reference to the July 2016 – January 2017 violence during which human rights violations and abuses against civilians were reported, he said that Yei Diocese “is badly broken” and that a lot needs to be done “to rebuild it”.

“We are not going to say because the situation is very bad we can’t do anything to rebuild the Diocese,” the South Sudanese Bishop said during the meeting that was held at St. Paul National Major Seminary in Juba.

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He emphasized the need “to start doing something” according to individual means so that the South Sudanese Catholic Diocese can “begin rising again”.

“The Diocese of Yei is not poor but we are being made poor,” the 51-year-old Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry on May 15 further said. 

While he found it regrettable that Yei was adversely affected by violent conflicts, expressed optimism, saying, “With God’s grace, we are going to come up again like we used to be because with God everything is possible.”

“We have all the potential to develop ourselves and we can do it,” the Catholic Church leader said, adding that in the process of rebuilding the Diocese, “the first source of materials we are going to get is us who are the people of the Diocese.”

Bishop Lodiong underlined the need for making collective efforts through individual contributions, saying, “If we put small things together, it gets big next time and this is something we are planning to do for our Diocese.”

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“Once we are able to do something by ourselves, our donors and partners will respond to us very fast because we have started it by ourselves.” he explained, making reference to the value of local contributions in relating with partners. 

The South Sudanese Bishop further appealed for support from those residing outside Yei Diocese, saying, “The Catholic Church is one so our brothers and sisters who are outside are part of us and they really need to support us.”

I am confident the Diocese will rise again like before,” he reiterated.

On October 19, Bishop Lodiong said he is seeking to prioritize the rebuilding of the various “infrastructures that were destroyed during the 2016 conflict” in his Episcopal See.

In an audio shared with ACI Africa, the Catholic Bishop said, “My priority right now is focusing mainly on the reconstruction of infrastructures destroyed by the conflict in 2016. You know the Diocese of Yei is one of the most affected in South Sudan probably following Malakal because of the war of 2016.”

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