By Zechariah Makuach Maror
OPINION (Sudans Post) – South Sudan is a country where people are politically acquainted with their descendant’s clan and tribal asserts which becomes a powerful culture that overcomes laws that govern all institutions. Recently there had been alleged circulating document on social media that the head of the overall Catholic Church around the world had appointed Bishop of Torit diocese his lordship Bishop Stephen Ameyu Martin as the new metropolitan of Juba diocese. Following a couple of days, another counter manuscript came into circulation as a reaction to that alleged document. The paper had extremely rejected the alleged authorization of the new holy man of God on the basis of not being the son of the soil, immorality, corruption and interference of intruders in the process of nomination.
The response of the Vatican was that the complaints are too late because the decision is already made and it could be difficult to rescind, with that response the same group again issued a warning that if their position is ignored then they will take the law into their hands by mobilizing their youths to shut down the church should the new archbishop assume the throne.
Methinks the political tribal chauvinism that has traumatized South Sudanese have finally hit the Church at its complexion, it’s a result of six years conflict that left no fruits of Love unturned in our society, even no one knew that Equatorian will one day refuse another Equatorian since they are the peaceful consensus community. It’s one of the great indicators that people of God are the custodian of tribalism in this Republic, this incident reminds me 2007 Episcopal Church of Sudan sectional fighting that broke out between clergies who hailed from SPLA liberated areas and government administrative areas clergymen which left many injured in Wau towns, over who should lead the local synagogue. The meddling of South Sudanese socio-political into Church politics is real anguish to South Sudanese.
Are Catholics all one, big happy family, or is it really the case that there is a deep chasm running the right centre of the Church? It is now arguable that the divide is real, and that it runs much deeper than just preferences in liturgical tastes. Those who emphasize the depth of the division would say that the differences in liturgy, music and culture are evidence of profound theological disagreements. But in reality, it is conflict over the church resources and wealth, it is a conflict of vengeance evidently, the last encounter document was citing some Baria priests that were rejected in Rumbek and Yei river state some years back on basis of not being the son of the soil.
If the church’s doctrines mandate the son of land to take over the priesthood’s throne, I think the Vatican would have not been ruled by Jorge Mario Bergoglio known as Pope Francis who hailed from Argentina, does it mean the Vatican is a no-man land? I think no, it is because of Catholic doctrine. The predecessor of current outgoing archbishop Grace Paulino Lokudo Loro was not from Baria tribe, Cardinal Gabriel Zuber Wako once led Khartoum diocese and he hailed from Wau. This addicted tribal mindset should have not been the attitude of so-called indigenous clergymen in St Teresa.
It is generally recognized that the conflict in South Sudan is not primarily religion; it is far more complex. But we must admit that the religious dimension and the scandal of our divided Christianity have exacerbated the tribal divisions. Christianity began as a movement, centred on Jesus, his teaching, his Eucharist, and the power of his Holy Spirit. But with increasing, numbers it had to develop into an institution in order to survive, and without the institution in the situation, we would have no sacred scripture, no sacraments, no ministers, indeed no Church. I have realized that this sectional bigotry is destroying Jesus organizations in Southern Sudan.
But there is a price to be paid for this. An institution is naturally conservative (preserving its heritage and belief), more or less passive (yielding to influences from outside), fearful (lest it lose face, control, power or possessions), anxious and careful (guarding its boundaries), and all of these traits can blunt the charismatic thrust of the Church as a movement of the Spirit. All of our divided churches bear these same characteristics, which prevent us from coming together to discover how much we have in common. If we were closer to Christ and his gospel, we would be much closer to each distinct and even accept one another as children of God rather than this tribal background we came from.
“Catholic” means “universal” and unity is one of Catholicism’s main selling points, Catholics lawsuit that brothers and sisters from every race, language, ethnicity and tribe are united around one Lord, one faith, one baptism. However, the elephant in St Teresa sanctuary is the cause of obvious division between traditionalists and modernists. With these situation continues in this way, I can either assume that the Angels in charge of South Sudan affairs in Heaven might have not performed his job perfectly or God might have curse South Sudan after lengthy report of in charge Angel.
The writer is a political activist and could be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org