JUBA – An Italian missionary bishop, the youngest-ever Italian bishop, was hurt in an ambush in South Sudan on Monday.
Rumbek Bishop-elect and Combonian missionary Christian Carlassare, 43, is in hospital in a stable condition after being wounded by two armed men, the Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre (Help for the Suffering Church, ACS) pontifical foundation said.
Appointed by Pope Francis on March 8, Father Carlassare was due to be formally ordained bishop at the end of May.
“Pray rather not for me but for the people of Rumbek who are suffering more than me,” said Father Carlassare, in a statement reported by the Combionians’ Nigrizia website.
It said the bishop “is out of danger and the CUAMM doctors are taking care of him in the hospital in Rumbek, but he has lost a lot of blood and will be moved shortly to the capital Juba and then Nairobi, where he will have a transfusion.
“Conscious and suffering, Father Christian directly phoned his family to inform them”.
The Fides news agency said “Father Christian was beaten, together with a nun who was with him, and then they shot four bullets into his legs.
“According to the initial news the attack was planned to scare him so that he is not ordained bishop”.
The Rumbek bishopric has been vacant since Msgr Cesare Mazzolari died in 2011.