SOUTH SUDAN: Church Postpones Consecration of Bishop Elect of Rumbek

By Njoki Githinji

RUMBEK, MAY 4, 2021 (CISA)-The Apostolic Nunciature to South Sudan has postponed the consecration ceremony of the bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek, Monsignor Christian Carlassare indefinitely.

“After the incidents in the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek, I on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan and in collaboration with the Papal Nuncio to South Sudan H.G Bert Van Megen, and Charge D’ affaires Msgr. Mark Kadima would like to inform the public that the date of the consecration of Bp elected Christian Carlassare is postponed until a later date, which will be fixed as soon as he recovers from the physical and traumatic wounds,” reads a May 2 statement by Archbishop Stephen Ameyu of Juba.

Consecration of 43-year-old Christian Carlassare, a Comboni Missionary, had been set for May 23.

The bishop-elect is currently receiving treatment in Nairobi for gunshot wounds he sustained on April 26 when two gunmen broke into his room and shot him on both legs.

Archbishop Ameyu lauded the solidarity and support accorded to the bishop-elect and the Church is South Sudan by both church and state since the attack.
“In spite of the challenges we have faced this week, we have also witnessed remarkable solidarity. The morning after Fr Christian was attacked, hundreds of people came to CUAMM Hospital, and Rumbek to show their support… Such violence is designed to create division and mistrust. We cannot allow this to happen to our church,” he said.

Speaking from hospital where he is receiving treatment, Fr Carlassare called for unity, forgiveness, and justice.

“It will take some time for my legs to walk, but I assure you that I will be back and I will be with you. Please let us be united in prayer, let us be united with all our hearts, to be able to uphold forgiveness in our community, and to be able to seek for justice,” Fr Carlassare said April 28.

Fr Carlassare, was appointed Bishop for Rumbek Diocese on March 8. He arrived in South Sudan in 2005 and has been serving in Malakal Diocese. The event occurred barely two weeks after returning to Rumbek on April 15 from spiritual retreat in Juba.