South Sudanese President Pays Glowing Tribute to Bishop who “never abandoned his flock”

Late Bishop Paride Taban. Credit: Radio Bakhita

The President of South Sudan has paid tribute to Bishop Paride Taban who died on the Solemnity of All Saints, noting that the late Bishop never abandoned “his flock” when the people needed him.

The pioneer Bishop of South Sudan’s Torit Diocese died at the age of 87 while receiving treatment after a long illness.

In his November 2 tribute, President Salva Kiir Mayardit said that Bishop Paride’s service to South Sudan bore the witness of Christ.

“Bishop Paride Taban left this world on All Saints Day, a day dedicated by the Catholic Church to honoring men and women who have entered into Heaven,” President Kiir said, and added, “Bishop Paride in his long service to the Church demonstrated tremendous courage in bearing witness to Christ.”

The South Sudanese President noted that while the late Bishop underwent numerous difficulties during the country’s “war for liberation”, he “never abandoned his flock and stood up numerous times for the persecuted and gave voice to the voiceless both in his teaching and actions.”


“While his departure has left a void in our midst, we are all comforted that Bishop Paride has left a long-lasting legacy in the area of peace advocacy that our young people can emulate,” Kiir said.

He said that the Kuron Peace Village that the late Bishop established to achieve his vision of a society without tribalism “will continue to be an inspiration to us the living as we work to achieve the vision he has dedicated his life to.”

In his message, President Kiir has expressed solidarity with the Diocese of Torit where the late Bishop served before his retirement, the entire Catholic faithful in South Sudan and across the globe, and “to everyone who was touched by his pastoral work during his long service.”

“As we mourn him, let us remember the courage he demonstrated during his lifetime in defense of the voiceless as well as his legacy in the field of advocacy for peace,” the South Sudanese President says.

Born in Katire, a locality in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State in 1936, the late Bishop Taban was ordained a Priest in May 1964. 

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In January 1980, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Juba Archdiocese and assigned the Titular See of Tadamata.

The late South Sudanese Catholic Bishop was appointed first Bishop of Torit in July 1983. 

Owing to the Sudan war, the South Sudanese Clergy would occasionally flee to other countries, including Uganda, Kenya, and the Central African Republic (CAR). 

Bishop Paride on the other hand spent most of his time in the areas that were controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), a guerrilla movement, and operated from Narus in Eastern Equatoria State of South Sudan. He also reached out to the people of God in other Catholic Dioceses, where Bishops were trapped in government-controlled townships and could not access large parts of their own Episcopal Sees.

Bishop Taban retired from the administration of Torit Diocese in 2004 and proceeded to complete the establishment of the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, an initiative he had founded in 2000.


According to the information that is provided on the website of the Peace Village, Bishop Paride established the project in Kuron “to unite the population in the area and set an example of peaceful cohabitation in war-torn South Sudan.”

Kuron Peace Village is situated in Eastern Equatoria State, the Southeastern part of South Sudan that borders Kenya and Uganda. Here, different ethnic groups live and work together in the village.

Meanwhile Torit Diocese has published the funeral program of the late Bishop Taban.

The body of the late Bishop will be received at Juba International Airport on Tuesday, November 7 at 10.00am.

A requiem Mass will follow at St. Theresa Kator Cathedral of Juba Archdiocese at 2 p.m.

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The body will then be taken to Nimule and Loa on Wednesday, November 8 at 10 a.m., and there will be a Mass in Loa at 3 p.m. 

The body arrives at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral of Torit Diocese on Thursday, November 9 at 10 a.m.

Bishop Taban will laid to rest on Friday, November 10 after a requiem Mass at St Peter and Paul Cathedral of Torit Diocese

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