National, News

South Sudan needs God-Bishop Santo

By Bida Elly David


Auxiliary Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Santo Loku Pio urges political leaders to accept God and avoid evil actions for peace to prevail in South Sudan.

The Auxiliary Bishop made the call on Thursday, during a press briefing on the return of Cardinal Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla from the Vatican.

Bishop Loku, known for his criticism of authorities, blasted that South Sudan has not achieved nationhood and that the church remains the only hope for peace.

“South Sudan is learning to be a country. The church has been a beacon for peace throughout history; we were involved in the revolution of this country but suffered,” Bishop Loku said.

He noted with concern that the country still lags so much behind in terms of development and economic and political stability.

“Ours now is an internal development that is lacking; as I said, we have never been a country before, and from 2005 to the present, we have had ups and downs.” Santo painted the country’s picture.

He stated that the country and its citizens can only be set free from turmoil if leaders accept God in their lives and live against evil deeds.

The Catholic cleric applauded the citizens for being resilient towards beating drums of peace with tears in their eyes, adding that their dreams would come true.

“Despite the hardship, the people of South Sudan are very resilient and determined to live in peace,” he stated.

Bishop Santo said religious leaders, especially Catholic clerics and bishops, have historically suffered torture at the hands of some liberators during the Anyanaya movement, despite their contributions to the liberation struggle.

“We have never bowed down at all. We were involved in the revolution of this country to bring it where it is,” he said.

The auxiliary bishop mentioned Rev. Saturnino Ohure as one of the religious liberators who sustained wounds and torture at the hands of the military jungles.

“The first revolutionary leader of the Anya-nya was Father Saturnino Ohure, brought up by the church. Since then, our forefathers, bishops, have worked hard to bring peace,” Bishop Santo recounted.

He also recognized Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban as one of the revolutionaries who suffered on the battle line and survived by God’s grace.

“He was one of those who pioneered with his own life, even to walk behind the rebel lines that time called the SPLA, suffering himself under the SPLA continuously to speak for peace for this country,” Santo reflected.

The Juba Catholic Bishop added that with the appointment of the Cardinal, there is hope that South Sudan will have everlasting peace that will free the people.

“The church, in its own way, has the capacity to continue to advocate for a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan,” he said.

In October last year, the auxiliary bishop, in one of his homilies at St. Theresa cathedral, Kator, slammed the country’s politicians for being sole beneficiaries of the revitalized agreement, leaving citizens in limbo.

He observed that citizens continue to suffer in all aspects as a result of the political crisis brought about by politicians.

Bishop Santo Loku then called them (political leaders) to stop egoism and focus on developing the nation.

He told the congregation that politicians across the country have taken the peace agreement as a pillar to serve their own interests, not the nation.

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