Central African bishops criticise ‘complicit’ politicians, church attacks
Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic urged international peacekeepers to act more effectively and condemned attacks on churches and the “manipulation of religious feeling.”
The bishops criticised “certain peacekeeping contingents, against their proper mandate, and the culpable, complicit silence of elected politicians.”
“Armed bands are still fueling anarchy and imposing their rules on exhausted civilian populations, who no longer know where help will come from,” the bishops said in a four-page appeal. “In our dioceses, we witness this sad reality every day and deplore how our country remains in the grip of thugs.”
The appeal was published after a bishops’ plenary, which ended on 14th January with a cathedral Mass attended by President Faustin-Archange Touadera and the country’s chief imam, Oumar Kobine Layama.
It said the Catholic Church acknowledged efforts to secure stability by appointing local prefects, paying official salaries and establishing a special penal court, as well as through a development plan backed by the United Nations, World Bank and European Union.
Picture: A Franciscan stands near UN peacekeeping soldiers in 2017 in the village of Ndim, Central African Republic. The nation’s Catholic bishops urged international peacekeepers to act more effectively and condemned attacks on churches and the “manipulation of religious feeling.” (CNS photo/Baz Ratner, Reuters).