“Let our work not be accompanied by lies but by actions”: Bishop in South Sudan to Leaders

Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of South Sudan's Yei Diocese.

Those in leadership in the world’s youngest nation are to be guided by “truth and honesty,” fulfilling their promises and shunning the tendency to “tell many lies,” a Bishop in the nine-year-old East-Central African nation has urged.

In his homily on World Mission Sunday marked October 18, Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe also cautioned leaders in South Sudan against the “hypocrisy” of the Pharisees who, in the Sunday Gospel reading, conspired to lay a trap for Jesus.   

“Sometimes we in the top offices in our country tell many lies, saying we will do this and that and yet it is not there,” Bishop Tombe said in his at Christ the King Cathedral of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese.

He added, “Let our work not be accompanied by lies but by actions, actions of justice and peace in all our professional work.”

Those in positions of leadership have to strive to be witnesses of “the Good News of the Gospel, which demands honesty and truth even to the point of shedding our blood as Jesus did on the cross,” the South Sudanese Bishop said.

“The preaching in our offices is honesty, truth and justice and if we do not preach that, we will be wasting time,” Bishop Tombe said and making reference to the Matthew’s Gospel reading of October 18 added, “We will be liars like those hypocrites who went to Jesus.”

Addressing rampant corruption in the country, the 77-year-old Prelate who has been a Bishop since November 1986 lamented widespread graft across the hierarchies, “from the top offices to the lowest offices” including religious leaders.  

“We are the very people messing up ourselves with corruption in this country, from the top offices to the lowest offices; maybe even the lowest offices of Bishops are full of corruption, messing up God’s message with corruption,” bemoaned the South Sudanese Prelate. 

He went on to lament impunity in South Sudan saying there is “no justice; everybody is escaping from the truth”

“Who is in charge of all these issues where now the country is bankrupt, no money and everybody does not want to answer this question?” the Bishop queried. 

He expressed his disagreement with the government’s  attempt to change the currency as a way to shore up the economy.

“No one knows why money is to be changed,” Bishop Tombe who has been a Bishop for 34 years said, underscoring the need to engage in anti-corruption initiatives instead of introducing a new currency amid rampant graft.

He cautioned, “Let us change it and still remain corrupt, then that currency also will not work and it will have to be changed again.”

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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.

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