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Religious, Political Leaders Hail Archbishop Who Mobilized South Sudan’s Bishops for Peace

Late Paolino Lukudu Loro, the immediate former Archbishop of South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese. He died April 5 in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, at the age of 80. Credit : Courtesy Photo

Religious and political leaders in South Sudan have paid glowing tribute to the emeritus Archbishop of Juba Archdiocese, describing him as a great man who mobilized his brother Bishops in the country to work towards peace. 

Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro, the immediate former Archbishop of South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese, died April 5 in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, at the age of 80.

His mortal remains arrived in the capital of South Sudan, Juba on Saturday, April 10 and were received at St. Theresa’s Kator Cathedral Parish of Juba Archdiocese by the Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin ahead of his burial on Monday, April 12.

Other Religious leaders who received the body of the Archbishop who had been at the helm of Juba Archdiocese for 36 years Cardinal Zubeir Wako, the Presidential Adviser on Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Juma Saeed Ali, representatives of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), and some Catholic Bishops.

Addressing the Press at the Juba International Airport on April 10, Bishop Dr. Arkangelo Wani Lemi, former Chairperson of SSCC recalled the late Archbishop’s tireless efforts toward restoring peace in the East-Central African country.

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“We are saddened by the death of His Grace Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro; he indeed was a man of stature, one I can describe as very humble, and even at his age in the life of his ministry, he was able to mobilize young Bishops to work with him in the country’s quest for peace,” the former Chairperson of SSCC said.

Bishop Wani added, “We have never seen any gap as far as work with him (Archbishop Lukudu) was concerned and so we have lost a great man indeed, a man of faith, a man of courage, and a man of simplicity.”

He further said that the late South Sudanese Archbishop has left “a legacy that will live with us as long as we are still alive.”

The Christian leader called upon the citizens of South Sudan to emulate the legacy and carry forward the dreams of the late Archbishop for a peaceful nation.

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“Mine is to assure that we have already learned from him and I say may we continue to follow in his footsteps and the good work that he has done during the war and his pursuit for peace in this country,” Bishop Wani said.

In solidarity with the citizens of South Sudan, Bishop Isaiah Majok Dau of the Pentecostal Church regretted the death of Archbishop Lukudu at a time the fate of peace in the country is not clear.

“I want us to celebrate his work of peace, coexistence, unity and love among South Sudanese people even though he has not seen the peace he fought for in its fullness,” Bishop Majok said.

On his part, the former Presidential Advisor on Islamic Affairs Saeed Juma Ali described the late member of the Comboni Missionaries as “a unifying factor.”

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“Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro was a unifying factor for all religious denominations in Sudan and South Sudan for both Christians and Muslims,” Sheik Juma testified and added, “The Archbishop introduced the idea of religious co-existence and unity.”

At the April 10 press conference at Juba International Airport, one of South Sudan’s Vice Presidents, James Wani Igga, described the late Archbishop as “a man of great calibre and a uniting factor” in the country.

“As a Church leader with his outstanding qualities, Loro was a Priest of vision, of strong character, dignity and selflessness,” Vice President Wani Igga said, and added, “He was a leader with a burning love for his people and country. He was a uniting factor and bold in condemning tribalism and discrimination.”

Addressing hundreds of mourners at the Juba International Airport, Lukudu’s successor, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu urged all to mourn with hope.

“Lukudu was a man of peace; he was a man of great caliber and so let us mourn him in a Christian way, believing that he is now at a place where he prays for us,” the Archbishop of Juba said April 10.