The late Archbishop who had not spoken to journalists all along broke his silence when Fr. Nicholas Kiri who had been appointed to head the committee to organize the installation of the Archbishop-elect was attacked and injured on 8 March 2020.
“I have learnt and seen that some faithful and some church personnel sustained some injuries,” Archbishop Lukudu stated, adding, “Thanks be to God that no life was lost. I am unhappy to hear of violent threats and hostilities.”
In his 9 March 2020 statement, the late Archbishop expressed his sadness upon hearing the news of the attack of Fr. Kiri that involved a confrontation between some youth and security officers at the Cathedral Parish.
“I urge all diocesan priests, religious and faithful of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba to refrain from violent activities and (desist) from violent threats and hostilities,” Archbishop Lukudu had appealed.
Making reference to two Diocesan Priests who had fled their residence following the 8 March 2020 attack, the late Archbishop had stated, “Let the priests who left their communities come back immediately.”
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He went on to encourage members of the Clergy and Religious in the South Sudanese Archdiocese he had administered since February 1983 to “work together toward unifying our faithful.”
“We must avoid divisive politics and reckless utterances which lead to animosity and violence,” the late Archbishop had added and urged “our young people not to engage in acts of violence against whichever group.”
“We are capable of solving our own issues and differences through dialogue,” the late South Sudanese Archbishop had said in March 2020.
The late Archbishop was the first occupant of the first ever Bishops’ retirement home that was put up by the South Sudanese Archdiocese with help from the Vatican and other donors.
Christened “Jerusalem Home,” the building was officially opened on 15 June 2020 in an inaugural celebration that was presided over by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Juba, Fr. Moris Lado.
In an interview with ACI Africa during the inaugural event, Archbishop Lukudu acknowledged that the retirement home would not have been a success without the concerted effort of well-wishers including non-Catholics.
“We did it together with our local people. Even individuals in our government contributed something for the construction,” the late Archbishop told ACI Africa, adding that the home is something he thought about as he approached retirement age, and requested Pope Francis’s support.
“This house is a contribution from the Holy Father. I knew that I was retiring more than a year ago. When I met the Pope, I spoke of my imminent retirement,” Archbishop Lukudu told ACI Africa last June.
He added in reference to Pope Francis, “I asked him to build this house. The support I got from the Pope went a long way into seeing the construction of this facility with generous donations from our friends.”