In the statement, the Catholic Bishops say that they continued advocating for peace through public statements and enlightening those involved in the violent conflicts on the consequences of war.
“Since the very day the war broke out, the Catholic Church in Ethiopia did not keep silent. The Church made continuous public statements denouncing the war, loss of lives, displacement, loss of property and all consequences of the war,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say.
They say that a call for dialogue and the need for a conducive environment for everyone has always dominated their statements.
“In these statements the Church denounces the war and all its consequences and appeals to the parties involved in the war to stop the war and choose the path of dialogue and create a conducive environment so that the people could live in peace and get their daily supplies smoothly,” CBCE members say in their March 8 statement shared with ACI Africa.
Last month, Bishop Tesfasellassie Medhin of Ethiopia’s Eparchy of Adigrat, which covers the conflict-ridden Tigray Region invited CBCE members to speak and act against atrocities in the Horn of Africa nation.
“The Ethiopian Bishops' Conference, formed by the Catholic Dioceses of the country, has the Christian obligation to confirm towards the Eparchy of Adigrat a spirit of brotherhood with one another, particularly in these times of enormous difficulties due to the terrible tragedies inflicted on pastoral agents, the faithful, and all the people of Tigray”, Bishop Medhin was quoted as saying in a February 24 report by the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides.
The Ethiopian Catholic Bishop added, “It is in this context that the Eparchy constantly invites the Bishops of the country to condemn with words and actions the crimes committed against the Catholic faithful, the clergy, men and women religious and the entire people of Tigray.”
Bishop Medhin reiterated his appeal to CBCE members saying, “The Eparchy of Adigrat renews its invitation to the President and the members of the Bishops' Conference to remain faithful to the symbol of unity and solidarity in the ministry of Evangelization that we all represent together, the mission and values of the Conference itself, and to support all those in difficulty.”
“We officially invite you to express your solidarity in favor of the suffering people and to exert peaceful and tangible pressure for an end to this genocidal war. For its part, the Eparchy of Adigrat reconfirms full solidarity, prayer and works of charity,” the Bishop who has been at the helm of the Eparchy of Adigrat since his Episcopal Ordination in January 2002 further appealed to CBCE members.
He added, “The atrocities committed so far against the Tigrinya population are not only against the right to the existence of human beings, but also against God who created us.”