Asked about his need for justice as a victim of the attack, he said, “Certainly, justice is a great element and we need always to seek justice, but not always justice will really heal the heart of a person. Justice must be always accompanied by mercy because the medicine of the human relationship is given by mercy more than justice.”
He went on to express his gratitude to all those who have offered prayer for his healing and recovery including “the Pope that mentioned me in his prayers and many other people that made themselves present, the President of South Sudan, comprising also him and for his attention to me.”
The Bishop-elect urged those who have expressed solidarity with him in prayer “to believe always in the goodness of every person” and cautioned those who reside “outside Rumbek, never to think that Rumbek is more violent than the other places just because of this incident but Rumbek has great riches and values that they can also make them to become fruitful.”
Asked if he feels threatened to return to return to Rumbek Diocese, Msgr. Carlassare said, “This is the mission of the church and the church has never to fear to proclaim the word of the gospel of peace and unity. And we have to be ready to offer our lives for that without fear.”
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“I have been welcomed wonderfully by the people in the first days in which I arrived,” he recalled the events of April 15 when he arrived in Rumbek Diocese, and continued, “I passed some days joyfully because I saw a very rich Diocese with many activities that are in place and many potentialities.”
He explained, “I really see that Rumbek has a great future. The people of Rumbek should never play themselves down. They are really in a very favorable situation to have a good journey as a church.”
Rumbek was elevated to a diocese in 1974. The see became vacant in July 2011 following the sudden death of Bishop Cesare Mazzolari. The Comboni missionary Bishop collapsed during Mass on July 16, 2011, a week after South Sudan gained independence. He was confirmed dead at Rumbek State Hospital.
When Msgr. Carlassare was named Bishop of Rumbek last month, nearly 10 years after the death of the Diocese’s last bishop, he described his appointment as an illustration of “the God of surprises.”