Archbishop in South Sudan Urges Religious, Political Leaders to Work Toward Lasting Peace

Archbishop Stephen Ameyu with the two Deacons he ordained for the Diocese of Rumbek in South Sudan.
Credit: ACI Africa

The Archbishop of South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese has, while presiding over the diaconate ordination of two Rumbek Diocese candidates, urged both religious and political leaders in the nine-year-old country to work together for lasting peace through a complete implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).  

“We must walk together to bring peace; all of us religious leaders and government leaders, if we put our hands together, we will bring a lasting peace in this nation,” Archbishop Stephen Ameyu said during the Thursday, October 1 ordination.

Addressing himself to the hundreds of Catholics at the ceremony at Holy Family Cathedral Parish of South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese, the South Sudanese Prelate said, “We have to walk with our Priests, our missionaries in order to bring peace to our people and make it a reality.”

“If we feel that we have no borders, no clan, no tribe, no nation, then that is the presence of the Kingdom of God and that is why God told the people upon sending them that the Kingdom of God is at hand,” Archbishop Ameyu said.

He added, “If all of us are Christians in this state, we will have peace but because we are men and women who have not accepted the word of God in our hearts fully, we have problems.”

“The Lord says to us, we must be messengers of peace,” the Local Ordinary of South Sudan’s only Metropolitan See told the inhabitants of Lakes State, one of the East-Central African country’s administrative region that continues to be disturbed by intercommunal conflicts.

In his homily during the ordination Eucharistic celebration, the Archbishop told the faithful that the word of God is the one that can transform people’s hearts because it unlocks traditional ways of putting people into clans and tribes alongside other distinguishing identities.

“In the Church of Christ, there is no clan,” he said and added, “There is no tribe and there is even no nation, we are a universal Church.”

“It is only by accepting ourselves as people of God belonging to one family, one nation and one Church, that we can say the Kingdom of God is at hand,” Archbishop Ameyu who was recently appointed the Apostolic Administrator of Wau Diocese said.

Making emphasis on embracing peace as people of God in the Diocese of Rumbek, the Archbishop said that with the sacrament of Baptism, “we are expected to be transformed by the word of God and by the sacrament of Baptism.”

He further said that Baptism takes away the sins of ancestors and also individual sins and added, “water (of Baptism) is thicker than blood because it makes us pure.”

The 56-year-old South Sudanese Archbishop called upon the parents of the newly ordained Deacon Joseph Mou Majak and Deacon Stephen Mangar Machar to leave their children to God and detach them from traditions that do not conform to Christian values.

“One of those traditions may be that a young man cannot die without having children,” Archbishop Ameyu said and added, “Remember this dear people of God, these two young men are no more to your tradition but from the tradition of Christ.”

He emphasized, addressing himself to the parents of the new Deacons, “These are no more your children, these are the children of God, and these are the children of the Catholic Church.”

“There is nothing called marriage here now, you are not going to do it in secret that my son is a Priest and so let me marry for him a woman so that he will leave with the children,” he went on to caution members of the two families.

He explained, “Priests of the lord are to dedicate themselves for Christ, Christ and His Church and they have to live like Christ himself, very chaste.”


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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
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