Juba, 21 December, 2019 / 2:28 am (ACI Africa).
Several days after letters expressing rejection of a Papal transfer of a Bishop in South Sudan emerged, the heads of dioceses in Sudan and South Sudan constituting the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) have thrown their weight behind the Holy Father and his representatives in the world’s youngest nation and expressed regrets “with great humility the inappropriate language used” in two defamatory letters.
“We, the Sudan and South Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, celebrate with Catholics and all the people of Juba and the nation, that there is now a new Catholic Archbishop,” the Bishops have stated in a letter following their “Extraordinary Plenary Meeting held in the Residence of the Archbishop of Juba” dated Thursday, December 19.
“We acknowledge the decision of the Holy Father of accepting the resignation of Archbishop Paolino Lukudu, allowing him to take a well-deserved and long overdue rest, and appointing his successor, Most Reverend Stephen Ameyu Mulla as the Archbishop of Juba,” the Sudanese Bishops’ letter obtained by ACI Africa reads, referencing the December 12 Papal transfer of Bishop Ameyu from Torit Diocese.
Signed by six of the eight Sudan and South Sudan Church leaders in attendance, the letter expresses SCBC members’ “heartfelt thanks to the Holy Father” for the transfer of Bishop Ameyu to Juba and that they “welcome the new Archbishop with full support unreservedly.”
The same day the Papal transfer became public, a six-page letter signed by three clerics and five laymen, all of Archdiocese emerged, the undersigned writing it as a “follow up of our previous memo, entitled: UTMOST CONCERN ON THE IMMINENT APPOINTMENT OF THE NEXT ARCHBISHOP OF JUBA dated Tuesday, 10th December 2019.”