2014-05-05 16:21:34

Pope meets Burundian bishops

May 05, 2014 - ‎In the recent past, Burundi has experienced terrible conflicts whose wounds have not healed completely. ‎In this context the Catholic Church in the country must continue its role in bringing about social and ‎political dialogue, without hesitating to meet even those in power. This was one of the several exhortations of ‎Pope Francis to the Bishops of Burundi who met him in a group on Monday. The bishops are in Rome on their ‎‎‘ad limina’ visit, which heads of dioceses around the world are required to make every five ‎years of or so, to report on the state of their jurisdiction.
In a written message handed to them, the Pope ‎alluded to the terrible 1994 genocide of mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu people, and reminded the ‎country’s bishops that they are witnesses of brotherhood of the Gospel even in the public spheres. ‎When war has taught to hate, peace can return if one sows brotherhood again, the Pope said. ‎Saying that violence has caused deep wounds and extreme poverty continues to bleed ‎the people, the Pope asked the Burundian bishops to sow in the conscience of the people the Gospel, ‎which only can lead them to brotherhood and forgiveness. The Pope urged the Church in Burundi to do everything possible to continue dialoguing in the social and political ‎spheres, especially with the nation’s authorities, in order to bring about reconciliation. But for this to happen, ‎the bishops need to witness to their faith and their courageous preaching of the Gospel, so they can ‎understand and appreciate the Church’s social teaching with regard to managing public issues. Among ‎other issues, Pope Francis also advised the Burundian bishops on the formation of candidates to the priesthood, the ‎religious, the laity and the young. ‎

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