They also acknowledge the Holy Father’s mention and prayer over the humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado, northern of the country, during the Urbi et Orbi blessing on Easter Sunday, April 12.
Further, the members Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) applaud Pope Francis’ comforting call to the Bishop of Pemba, Luiz Fernando Lisboa on August 19 in which the Holy Father expressed his closeness to the Bishop and the people of God under his care amid the crisis.
After Angelus prayer on Sunday, August 23, at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, Pope Francis emphasized his closeness to the people of Cabo Delgado “who are suffering because of international terrorism. I do so with the vivid recollection of my visit to that country about a year ago.”
“Hope, Peace and Reconciliation was the motto of the Apostolic Visit. More than ever before, these words must serve as a true program of action, leading us to accept challenges and applying the words to the current context,” the Bishops challenge the faithful in their Pastoral Letter signed by the Vice President of CEM, Archbishop Inácio Saúre.
In their collective letter titled “Hope, Peace, and Reconciliation,” the Bishops in Mozambique further recall, “Pope Francis left us with stimulating words of encouragement, and guidance for the prevailing national situation which is marked above all by the absence of an effective peace.”
In building genuine peace, the Bishops say, “collaboration and optimism are required from all citizens and all living forces. A challenge that must be embraced by everyone with courage and faith.”
“It is necessary to end the violence and, with transparency, to carry out the process of Demobilization, Disarmament and the Reintegration of the (military) men of Renamo, of Decentralization of power, sincere dialogue and the participation of all political and civil actors.”
The theme of the Holy Father’s apostolic visit - “Hope, Peace and Reconciliation” - the Prelates further note, “demands a continued and renewed commitment to its realization.”
“Nobody can rest until Mozambique has achieved an authentic and effective peace,” the members of CEM say.
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