“I wish that they also go to encourage their own people in their own Dioceses,” the new Cardinal whose transfer from Torit Diocese to Juba Archdiocese in December 2019 was met with resistance from a section of the Clergy and Laity of South Sudan’s only Metropolitan See said about the 21 Cardinals created during the September 30 Consistory.
He continued, “For us new Cardinals, it is our role to encourage people in their own difficulties; that alone can help us to have hope in God and hope in the life to come.”
“We have to conduct our lives in a good way and God who has called us to this vocation of being Christians can bless us to have an appropriate life,” the Catholic Church leader who started his Episcopal Ministry in March 2019 as Bishop of Torit Diocese said.
In his homily during the latest Consistory, Pope Francis addressed the newly elevated Catholic Church leaders, saying, “You new Cardinals have come from different parts of the world, and the same Spirit that made the evangelization of your peoples fruitful now renews in you your vocation and mission in and for the Church.”
“Mother Church, who speaks all languages, is one and is Catholic,” the Pope said, addressing himself to the new Cardinals he was creating, 18 of whom are under the age 80, and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave.
Cardinal Mulla is the first-ever Cardinal in South Sudan, the world’s newest country that gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011. He is the second South Sudanese Cardinal, after the 82-year-old Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako was elevated to the rank in October 2003 while serving as Archbishop of Sudan’s Khartoum Archdiocese.
Other Cardinals from Africa that Pope Francis created during the September 30 Consistory included Protase Cardinal Rugambwa, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Tabora in Tanzania, and Stephen Cardinal Brislin, the Local Ordinary of South Africa’s Cape Town Archdiocese.
Also speaking after the September 30 Consistory, the Speaker of the National Parliament of South Sudan, Honorable Jemma Nunu Kumba, who headed the South Sudanese government delegation to Rome said, “This is a historic moment because this is the first time as a new country, the Republic of South Sudan, we are blessed with (a) Cardinal.”
“We only had a Cardinal for Sudan, Cardinal Wako and now we are blessed as South Sudanese with Cardinal Stephen Ameyu,” Hon. Kumba further said, and adding, “It is a very great blessing for us and I am very grateful to the Church for inviting us to witness this historic moment; as a country, we are very proud that we are new but yet great things are happening in our country.”
She went on to explain the mission of the South Sudanese delegation at the Vatican, saying, “We came here in solidarity with the Church, first as a Catholic myself and also as a Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan to represent the people.