Bishop Carlassare says he interprets his own ordeal, the getting “back on my feet”, and the returning to South Sudan to take up his new Episcopal ministry “as a sign” showing that South Sudanese “too can get back on their feet, despite the wounds caused by an endless conflict, despite the presence of so many weapons, so many territories occupied by militias and displaced people.”
In the face of situations that point to “despair”, the Italian-born Catholic Bishop goes on to say, “we have to provide hope that their wounds can be healed, that we can get back on our feet and walk along the path of peace."
Bishop Carlassare was appointed Bishop for Rumbek Diocese on 8 March 2021. His Episcopal Ordination was postponed to 2022 following the shooting incident.
In an ACI Africa video recording from his hospital bed at the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya on 27 April 2021, he described his shooting as life-threatening but called for reconciliation and “justice with the same heart of God” among the people of God in Rumbek Diocese.
Reflecting on the peace process in South Sudan in the April 5 ACN report, Bishop Carlassare who took canonical possession of Rumbek Diocese on March 25 says, “We live in a country where Christianity is often no more than skin deep; it hasn't grown roots in the life of the population.”
Bishop Christian Carlassare placing a cross on the grave of the late Bishop Caesar Mazzolari in Holy Family Cathedral on 26 March 2022 after Thanksgiving Mass following his Episcopal Ordination. Credit: Fr. Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu, S.J. (Rumbek)
“Violence should be far from Christianity, but it is very much present. So many people take to weapons and use them to achieve their interests and goals,” the 44-year-old Catholic Bishop adds.
“There is much work to be done for the population to stop suffering because of the conflicts, instability, endemic poverty and lack of services,” he further says, and adds, “The attack I suffered was a clear sign of this."
Bishop Christian Carlassare, Priests, women and men Religious and Laity at grave of the late Bishop Caesar Mazzolari inside Holy Family Cathedral on 26 March 2022 after Thanksgiving Mass. Credit: Fr. Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu, S.J. (Rumbek)
The Catholic Bishop who has been described by one of his confreres as a person who “lives his faith and his vocation as a missionary with sincere earnestness and love for humans” says his experience in Africa “has shown me that stability is very fragile, and you need to give things time, and not jump to conclusions about what is going on.”