SOUTH SUDAN: Bishop Taban Eulogized as a Peace Advocate in a Troubled Region

By Arnold Neliba

TORIT, NOVEMBER 3, 2023 (CISA)-The Late Bishop Paride Taban emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Torit has been praised for his dedication to promoting peace and reconciliation in South Sudan, Africa’s youngest nation marred by perennial conflict.

A tribute shared by Pax Christi International, a global Catholic peace movement, recognized his efforts in the restoration of peace and cohesion through the founding of South Sudan’s Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron, a community that welcomes people from diverse ethnic backgrounds who have experienced conflict. This village, according to Pax Christi International, became a symbol of hope and healing.

“A bridge-builder, Bishop Paride Taban tirelessly advocated for dialogue, unity, and understanding, leaving an indelible mark on South Sudan and the world. His life’s journey was marked by a steadfast commitment to peace, and he leaves behind a legacy that continues to inspire us all to work for a world where peace and unity prevail,” the tribute reads.

According to Rt Rev Marc STENGER, Bishop Emeritus of Troyes, France, and Co-President of Pax Christi International, Bishop Taban was an exemplary builder of peace and a tireless sower of hope, a great pioneer in a troubled era in his country.

“We honour his actions such as the creation of the peace village of Kuran and the mediation efforts that he carried out at the head of the New Sudan Council of Churches. His actions were full of the evangelical spirit of Jesus, in which the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is well recognized,” he eulogized.

Bishop Taban, the pioneer bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Torit and the first leader of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) died on November 1 in Nairobi following a long illness as announced by the Catholic Diocese of Torit.

“Throughout his memorable career, he served as a guiding light offering solace, guidance and hope to all who sought his counsel. He was the founder of Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron in 2000, to bring all South Sudanese of different backgrounds and ethnicity to live in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters,” Bishop Emmanuel Bernardino Lowi Napeta of Torit eulogized his predecessor.

“He has been unwell for some time and the Good Shepherd called him on the Solemnity of All Saints. The news is sudden and you will be updated with the upcoming arrangement,” reads an announcement by the Sudan/South Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SSSCBC) on November 1.

The late Bishop Taban was ordained priest on May 24, 1964. He served as the auxiliary bishop of Juba from January 28, 1980. At 47 years, he was appointed pioneer Bishop of Torit, South Sudan, on July 2, 1983, a position he held till February 7, 2004, when he resigned aged 68.