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Mission, Vision and Values of the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference

Mission, Vision and Values of the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference

 7 September 1997 


 To the Christian Faithful,
and all Persons of Good Will in the Sudan.
Brothers and Sisters, Grace and peace to you.
 

The word “Peace” has become the most spoken word in our country today.
We all want and long for peace.
The future of our country and the happiness of our people
will depend on the kind of peace we reach.
There is the peace of death.
 
There is the “peace” one experiences after the total extermination of one’s enemies.There is the peace in which no guns are fired but in which people are trodden under foot, despised, exploited, discriminated against and very unhappy.
There is the peace in which people do not talk to one another,
“the peace of the dumb”, because people hate and fear one another,
because there is selfishness, greed, pride and so many other “walls”
they have built between themselves.
 
The Catholic Bishops of the Sudan during their annual plenary assembly in Rome (September 1997) reflected on all these kinds of peace and said:
“None of them is peace, none can he called peace”.
Indeed we need peace that is worthy of human beings, and enjoyed by everyone.
No human being will exert his/her energies for meaningless peace.

 We looked at the terrible situation of non-peace in the Sudan.
It was frightful and detestable. So we asked ourselves:
“What kind of peace does the Sudan need today?

 Not just any peace, but the kind of peace for which people are prepared to struggle, to expand their energies and even to die.”
This is how our “VISION OF THE SUDAN” was born.
From now on we will not be just working for the Sudan
but for the kind of Sudan we saw in our “vision”
our vision of a better and happier Sudan.

 In our present situation such a vision of the Sudan seems a dream
precisely because there are so many forces working in the opposite direction.
Our “MISSION STATEMENT” spells out our programme of work
to weaken the forces of evil and strengthen those of good.
It is our commitment.
It is the very mission Jesus Christ took upon himself,
and handed on to his disciples for all times.

Such a Mission Statement is demanding.
So, we set before ourselves certain “VALUES” to sustain us in our effort.
These values are based on christian faith, hope and love.
They must become integral to our Christian Vocation and Ministry as Bishops.
They are values that should help and urge us reach out imploringly to God
with whom nothing is impossible.
They have to be cultivated with patience and perseverance
until they become a second nature to us.

 

 

 

We now share our “Vision, Mission and Values” with you.
Our hope is that they become
the “Vision, Mission and Values of the Church in the Sudan”
as it struggles together with all Sudanese of good will
to restore peace to our country.

 

 

 

We ask you to pray for us, your Bishops,
that we may continue to be light and salt in our country.
We ask you to gradually make our “Vision, Mission and Values” your very own. Through the intercession of Mary our Mother,
of Blessed Bakhita and Blessed Comboni,
we shall and will obtain from God all the graces we need
to bring peace to our country.

 

 

 

Brothers and Sisters,
we have a very noble programme to work, suffer and even die for.
It is the programme of Jesus Christ who died on the cross
in order to bring us peace.
He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”.
He will guide us into the way of peace.
To Him be glory and praise for ever and ever.

 

 

 

M. Rev. Gabriel Zubeir Wako

Archbishop of Khartoum,
President of Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

 

 

 

Preamble

 

 

 

We, the Catholic Bishops of the Sudan, gathered in Rome for our visit to the tombs of the Apostles and to his Holiness the Pope, seize the occasion to hold also the Annual Plenary Assembly of our Bishops’ Conference. We meditate on what should be our Mission as Bishops in the Church in the Sudan. We reflect on our war torn country, and on the misery, helplessness and despair of our suffering people. Christ’s words to the apostles keep ringing in our minds: “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” (Jn. 20: 21). We feel that his mission for us at this moment in the history of our Church and People can be none other than that which he gave to the Apostle Peter: “Take cure of my, lambs ... take care of my sheep.” (Jn. 21: 15-16).

 

 

 

Despite our fears and the clear awareness of our inadequacy, weakness and poverty, we repeat the commitment we made at our Episcopal ordination. We will go wherever the Lord sends us. We will do whatever He commands us to do. For we know that He, true to his promise, has given us the Holy Spirit: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn. 20: 22), to remain with us always, just as He himself assured us of his presence with us until the end of time. He will keep us safe and united in this work. For He prayed: “Holy Father Keep them safe by the power of your name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one.” (Jn. 17: 11 ). We resolve to be living answers and, witnesses to Christ’s prayer by striving to live and work united in mind and heart.

 

 

 

2. Our Vision of the Sudan

 

 

 

After the example of the Word of God who became “Emmanuel”, that is: “God with as”, we will continue to live with our suffering people wherever they may be, to share their joy and hope, grief and anguish, until the fulfillment of the Salvation God has promised to those who place all their hope in Him. To keep their hopes and ours high, and to give our aspirations a direction, and our struggle a goal, we set before us a Vision of the Sudan we would like to live in, a Sudan we must all work together to build, a Sudan that is more human.

 

 

 

2.1 We see and set before us the VISION of a SUDAN

 

 

 

- in which there is no more war,
- in which there is no oppression,
- in which there is no violence,
- in which there is no tribal or ethnic hatred,
- in which there is no injustice,
- in which there is no violation of human rights,
- in which there is no discrimination because of religion.

 

 

 

2.2 According to this vision, the Sudan should become a country in which:

 

 

 

  • Basic human freedoms are fully respected, defended and promoted not only by law but also in practice:

 

 

 

 

 

 

- freedom of conscience;
- freedom of religion;
- freedom of worship;
- freedom of expression;
- freedom of assembly;
- freedom of movement (migration).

 

 

 

  • The diversity of languages, cultures and traditions is recognized, respected and valued.

 

 

 

  • Equal opportunity is accorded and guaranteed for each and every citizen, regardless of his/her tribe, ethnic origin, religion or gender, - that is, equal opportunity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

- for education.
- for employment.
- for access to the economic resources of the country.
- for land ownership.

 

 

 

  • Dialogue with each other is fostered in daily life situations in a spirit of give and take, with genuine concern for the truth and freedom from any form of fanaticism and fundamentalism.

 

 

 

  • A just and independent legal and judicial system is set up free from any form of political manipulation and interference, and cognisant and respectful of the diversity of cultures, customs and religious traditions that make up the Sudan.

 

 

 

  • Authority in Government is exercised as honest service to the people rather than as an oppressive power.

 

 

 

  • Leadership in whatever sphere of life is exercised transparently and with full and genuine accountability to the people.

 

 

 

  • Our God-given rich environmental and natural resources are respected and put to responsible use for the common good of all.

 

 

 

3. Our Mission Statement

 

 

 

Following the example of Jesus Christ who faithfully carried out the mission the Father entrusted to Him, we wish to adopt as our rule of life the Scripture text that Jesus applied to himself:

 

 

 

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
because he has chosen me
to bring the Good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind;
to set free the oppressed
and announce that the time has come
when the Lord will save his people.”
(Lk. 4: 18 - 19)

 

 

 

In keeping with this “mission statement” of Jesus, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Sudan, make the following our pastoral priority as we strive together with our people to make our aspiration for a better and happier Sudan a tangible reality:

 

 

 

  1. to proclaim the Good News of Salvation with renewed vigour and zeal;
  2. to intensify our efforts for the ongoing christian and Spiritual formation of our people;
  3. to help our people better understand the real nature of the church and of her role in society;
  4. to defend and promote human dignity;
  5. to stand always for justice and truth;
  6. to educate and urge our faithful to the practice of peace and reconciliation;
  7. to live and promote dialogue rather than confrontation with those who act and think differently from us;
  8. to set up ministries that enable our people to work more effectively for their own integral human development;
  9. to support the poor and needy as they struggle to change and improve their condition of life;
  10. to cooperate with all people of good will to restore justice and bring peace to our country.

 

 

 

4. Values to Sustain Our Resolve

 

 

 

We are fully aware that the mission we are called to, demands continuous effort and true conversion of mind and heart. We therefore wish to keep before us certain values that will permeate all we do and say, sustain us in our work, redirect our energies, and give meaning to whatever we undertake.

 

 

 

4.1 These are the values we shall cultivate with God’s help:

 

 

 

  1. Faith and Trust in God who is always present to us, and never denies us the graces we need in our lives and our work;
  2. Hope in the power of Jesus’ Resurrection, the guarantee that we too will triumph over death and evil;
  3. Openness and Docility to the Holy Spirit who inspires and strengthens us;
  4. Honesty and Truth in all circumstances;
  5. Solidarity with the suffering and the needy;
  6. Compassion towards the suffering and the poor, just as Jesus taught us;
  7. Cooperation with one another in the spirit of collegiality;
  8. Reconciliation in situations of tension and conflict.

 

 

 

5. Conclusion

 

 

 

We renew our faith and trust in God who is faithful and mindful of his people. We let the prophet Isaiah assure us:

 

 

 

The LORD who created you says:
“Do not be afraid - I will save you.
I have called you by name - you are mine.
When you pass through deep waters,
I will be with you;
When you pass through fire,
you will not be burnt;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
For I am the LORD your God, ... who saves you
... because you are precious to me
And because I love you and give you honour.
Do not be afraid - I am with you.”
(Is. 43:1-5)

 

 

 

THE Ordinaries of The Sudan

 

 

 

M. Rev. Gabriel Zubeir Wako Arch. of Khartoum
M. Rev. Paulino Lukudu Loro Arch. of Juba
Rt. Rev. Joseph Gasi Abangite Bishop of Tambura-Yambio
Rt. Rev. Vincent Mojwok Nyiker Bishop of Malakal
Rt. Rev. Paride Taban Bishop of Torit
Rt. Rev. Macram Max Gassis Bishop of El Obeid
Rt. Rev. Erkolano Lodu Tombe Bishop of Yei
Rt. Rev. Antonio Menegazzo Apost Adm. El Obeid
Rt. Rev. Daniel Adwok Kur Aux. Bishop of Khartoum
Msgr. Caesar Mazzolari Apost. Administrator of Rumbek
Apology: Bishop Rudolph Deng Majak (not present in Rome)