Vatican Diplomat Lauds Malakal Diocese for Being “a sign of hope” to Sudan War Victims

Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen. Credit: ACI Africa

The immediate former Apostolic Nuncio to Sudan has lauded the Catholic Diocese of Malakal in South Sudan, for giving hope to victims of the Sudan war that broke out on April 15.

In a report that the Catholic Radio Network (CRN) published on Friday, August 18, Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen acknowledges with appreciation the initiatives to help returnees and refugees, who have fled the Sudan violent conflict that the Local Ordinary of Malakal, Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok, and the Coordinator of Caritas Malakal, also referred to as the department of Integral Human Development, Sr. Elena Balatti of the Comboni Missionary Sisters (CMS) are undertaking. 

Making reference to the Catholic Diocese of Malakal, Archbishop van Megen is quoted as saying, “Through the Church, there is a sign of hope; through the church there seems to be a new future; through the church there seems to be a way out of darkness.”

The Nairobi-based Vatican diplomat who represents the Holy Father in Kenya and South Sudan further says, “I want to appreciate the (work) of Caritas in Malakal, (and) the work of Bishop. In (a) special way, let me mention Sr. (Elena Balatti) who has always been there as a pillar to the church and the people in Malakal.”

In the August 18 CRN report, Archbishop van Megen makes reference to the four-day visit of the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, to the world’s youngest nation that concluded on August 17 with his visit to the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek.


“The visit of Cardinal Pietro Parolin was a visit of the church, in a special way of the Holy Father who wanted to be present with those people who come with all their sufferings, with all their pain to Malakal and to give a helping hand to them,” Archbishop van Megen says in reference to the August 15 visit of Cardinal Parolin to Malakal.

In his address to the returnees and refugees during his visit to the South Sudanese, Cardinal Parolin comforted the victims of the Sudan war and expressed the closeness and prayers of the Holy Father with them.

“We feel very sorry for you, for what happened to you in Sudan,” the Vatican-based Cardinal said, and added, “We can do something also from our side; we are the Holy See, we are the Vatican, the moral voice very powerful in the international community.”

“We can raise the attention and the interest of the international community towards your situation just to provide the means to solve your problems to go back to your places of origin in a very safe and dignified way,” the Italian-born Cardinal said, and further affirmed, “I promise you, we will try to do so.”

Kerbino Kuel Deng is a South Sudanese journalist who is passionate about Church communication. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.