The elevation of Archbishop Ameyu to Cardinal, the Apostolic Nuncio added, was “a recognition not only by the way of the Church as Bishops or as Priests or as Religious, but as we are all here today, people of God, because we all are part of that Church and we all have a responsibility and a commitment to that church.”
The Nairobi-based Vatican diplomat, who also represents the Holy Father in Kenya said that before Pope Francis’ ecumenical visit to South Sudan, all vacant Dioceses in the World’s newest nation had received their receptive shepherds.
It was as if “God was strengthening this Church, putting it back on strong foundations,” Archbishop van Megen said to underscore the “fruits” of the Papal visit.
In his February 3 homily, the day the Prefect for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), Michael Cardinal Czerny, arrived in the country for his eight-day pastoral visit, Archbishop van Megen challenged the people of God in South Sudan to live honest lives as “salt of the earth”, guided by Gospel values.
Michael Cardinal Czerny arrives South Sudan for his 8-day Pastoral Trip. Credit: Ginaba Lino/Juba/South Sudan
He explained, “Salt of the earth is about giving taste to life even more and deeper, to give sense to life and to be that sense for life, to live for others, not so much for yourself but for others; that others find taste in you, that you are that salt of the earth.”
“The Church is there, and it is built on strong foundations. But that is not enough. It's about giving taste. God, in a sense, has done his work, but now he's waiting for our initiative,” the Dutch-born Vatican diplomat said.
He went on to pose, “How do we, as a Church, as Christians, give taste to society? How do we, as Priests, Bishops, how are we salt of the earth? How much are we ready to give? Are we really able to say, after Christ, this is my body and blood for you, and I give it all, I surrender completely, I keep nothing back, I give it all to you, Christ, because you have given everything to me?”
Credit: Ginaba Lino/Juba/South Sudan
“As a church, we want to follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis, following in the footsteps of Christ, to be salt of the earth, to give ourselves completely in this country of ours, in South Sudan, so that we will truly be called Christians, servants of the Most High,” Archbishop van Megen said in his homily at Holy Mass to mark one year since the first-ever Papal visit to the South Sudan.