By Odiwuor Opiyo
RUMBEK, MARCH 25, 2022 (CISA) – Monsignor Christian Carlassare, MCCJ, has been consecrated Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, March 25. The occasion of his consecration comes almost a year after the initially planned ceremony was cancelled when he was attacked and shot in the legs, shortly after his appointment.
Monsignor Carlassare who arrived in South Sudan on March 23, from his native Italy where he was recuperating received a warm welcome at the Rumbek airstrip in Lake State, ten days shy after his encounter with the Pope at the Vatican. According to reports by several media outlets, the bishop-elect was received by a mammoth crowd among whom were government officials, clergy, laity and faithful at large.
“The reception you have given me has given a lot of pride to all people of Lake State, gives honour to all the country and this will be seen all over the world and the world will see that South Sudanese are people that desire and work for peace,” he said.
According to reports by the National Catholic Register, the prelate who had previously expressed his eagerness to return to South Sudan said, “I am grateful to the governor and all the authorities of this State and also this country because you have been standing by us as Church and helping us as you are working for peace in this country and this territory.”
The Italian-born Comboni Missionary reiterated his commitment to fostering unity in the diocese maintaining, “I’m not back because of the chair; I’m back to work with you on these streets. We will not stay only inside the cathedral; we will go to our land to meet people where they are, even in the villages where people are far,”
“I come to be a brother of each one of us, no one is excluded. I thank you for adopting me in this country and this place,” Monsignor Carlassare added pointing out, “We are united in this work because it is a gift that comes from God and it is a commitment that we have to take all of us together.”
Besides, The High Court in Juba fixed April 25, 2022, as the final date to pass final judgement on the assault case of Bishop Carlassare. While initially, the consecration of Bishop Carlassare had coincided with the ruling, Malith Jok Thiang, the defense lawyer to the accused suspects, clarified that today’s session was the final submission of the case file and their findings to the case.