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Missionaries of Charity express sorrow over scandal, openness to just inquiry

July 18, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

Kolkata, India, Jul 18, 2018 / 11:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The superior general of the Missionaries of Charity said Tuesday the congregation is “deeply saddened and grieved” by the alleged sale of several children by an employee of one of its homes for unwed mothers.

“Even while we place our full trust in the judicial process that is underway, we wish to express regret and sorrow for what happened and desire to express in unequivocal terms our condemnation of individual actions which have nothing to do with the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity,” Sister Mary Prema Pierick said in a July 17 statement.

“We are fully cooperating with the investigations and are open to any free, fair and just inquiry.”

Earlier this month two women affiliated with the Missionaries of Charity, one a religious sister and one an employee, were arrested over the alleged sale of a baby boy.

Anima Indwar, who had worked at the Nirmal Hriday home in Ranchi since 2012, and Sister Concelia (Konsalia), were arrested July 3 and 4. Sister Concelia had been sister-in-charge of the unwed mothers section at the home since June 2017.

Indwar was trusted with escorting the unwed mothers, their babies, and their guardians to hospital and to the Child Welfare Committee office when the religious sisters were engaged with other duties.

Several child protection officers seized admission and attendance registers from Nirmal Hriday June 29, “without providing the receipt for such seizure to the Home,” according to Sister M. Prema.

The officers were interested particularly in the case of Karishma Toppo and her baby, who was born at the shelter May 1. Toppo agreed to hand over her child to the Child Welfare Committee, and Indwar escorted her to surrender her child to the welfare committee.

“Neither Nirmal Hriday nor the Sisters had any way to ascertain whether the child was actually surrendered to CWC. This is so because CWC as a matter of practice did not give any acknowledgment to the Home after obtaining custody of a child from an unwed mother,” Sister M. Prema stated.

Indwar admitted July 3 that Toppo’s child had not been given to the CWC, and she was arrested.

The following day Sister Concelia and Sr. Marie Deanne, superior of Nirmal Hriday, were questioned by police, and Sr. Concelia was arrested. The home’s 11 unwed mothers, another mother with her child, and a guardian were all taken from Nirmal Hriday by the CWC.

On July 6, another Missionaries of Charity home in Ranchi, Shishu Bhawan, was raided by the police. Records there were seized without receipt, and 22 children living at the home were taken.

“It is distressing that CWC has meted out such treatment to a Home which its officials themselves had described as having an ‘excellent environment for the care of children’ only about two weeks before,” Sr. M. Prema said in regard to Shishu Bhawan.

Police say that a couple complained to the CWC in Ranchi that a baby boy they received after payment had been taken back. They say the couple reportedly paid Indwar 120,000 Indian rupees ($1,760). They complained that Indwar took their money in exchange for a child, and that she later took the child back from them for some “formalities”, without returning the money.

Indwar has admitted that she sold children.

Sister Concelia described her experience in a video.

“I came to know that a baby, delivered in May, was missing when the Child Welfare Committee came to check,” she said in a video. “We found out that the baby had been sold off by a staffer.”

Sister Concelia has recounted her conversation with Indwar. “When I initially asked the staffer about the baby, she did not want to tell me anything. It was only when I kept pressing for details that they told me the baby had been sold,” she said.

A small portion of the money had been given to the guard, while nine times that amount was given to “a sister.”

Sister Concelia said that Indwar told her she did not take any money.

The nun said she informed authorities about the matter and said the baby should be brought back.

A police source said that Indwar provided to police a handwritten note from Sister Concelia asking Indwar to take the blame on herself, Matters India reports.

Sister Concelia’s defenders, including the bishops of India, are asking whether she was an accomplice, or the victim of a coerced confession.

“Nobody was allowed to meet Sister Konsalia in custody,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi, said. “Her advocate could meet her on Wednesday, eight days after her arrest, only after we approached the court,” he said July 12, according to the Hindustan Times. “During the 10 minutes interaction that the advocate could have with her, she said she was forced by the police to give her statement.”

Bishop Mascarenhas had objected that the nun was being treated as a criminal. He said she is diabetic with varicose veins, and wasn’t aware of her statement.

He also condemned the sale. “It shouldn’t have happened. But, accusing the entire congregation of Mother Teresa is wrong.”

India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development has instructed states to inspect all childcare homes run by the Missionaries of Charity.

A spokesperson for the Missionaries of Charity has said the order stopped dealing with child adoption in India in 2015, and did not take money for adoptions when it did assist in them. The order is conducting their own investigation about the case.  

Members of opposition parties have accused India’s ruling party, the Hindu-nationalist group the Bharatiya Janata Party, of harassing and persecuting the missionaries on the basis of unbelievable allegations.

The Jharkhand police have also called for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into foreign funds received by Missionaries of Charity institutions. R.K. Mallick, the senior police officer, told NDTV that the recommendation was motivated by irregularities investigators detected.

The Albanian-born Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata in 1950. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and canonized in 2016. There are now 5,167 Missionaries of Charity sisters, both active and contemplative, around the world. The order has 244 houses in India.

In addition to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, members of the Missionaries of Charity take a fourth vow pledging “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”

Sr. M. Prema said the order “vows to continue their whole-hearted and free service to the poorest of the poor, by serving the needy and vulnerable even in the middle of the unprecedented and unfounded criticism that it faces today. We have full faith in the courts of law and the investigating authorities and are confident that justice shall prevail.”

“We pray for all those who have been hurt by the recent developments and we ask God to bless all those who are standing by us in these painful and difficult moments, and we lift up to God in prayer all people of goodwill,” she added.

“May our Mother, St. Teresa of Calcutta intercede for us before our Almighty Father.”

[…]

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The modern miracle of Fatima

July 18, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

Fatima, Portugal, Jul 18, 2018 / 03:00 am (CNA).- While men in the trenches of World War I faced chemical gasses and industrialized weaponry that wrought unprecedented human carnage, an Angel of Peace appeared with a message.

“Do not be afraid. … […]

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India to investigate Missionaries of Charity childcare homes after scandal

July 17, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

New Delhi, India, Jul 17, 2018 / 03:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development announced Monday that it has instructed states to inspect all childcare homes run by the Missionaries of Charity.

The move comes after several children were allegedly sold by an employee of Nirmal Hriday, a Missionaries of Charity home for unwed mothers in Jharkhand state.

Maneka Ghandi, women and child development minister, added July 16 that all childcare and adoption institutions must register with the Central Adoption Resource Authority within the month.

Earlier this month two women affiliated with the Missionaries of Charity, one a religious sister and one an employee, were arrested after a couple complained that they were sold a baby boy, who was then taken back by the shelter.

Anima Indwar, who had worked at the shelter as a sweeper since 2002, and Sister Konsalia, were arrested July 4 and 5 in Jharkhand. Another shelter employee is also under investigation.

Indwar admitted that she sold the children. In one deal, a couple from Uttar Pradesh adopted the child and the deal was finalized through the guard. She denied that Sister Konsalia was present during the transaction. She said the baby’s birth mother was involved in the exchange.

Police appear to have been alerted July 3 when a couple from Uttar Pradhesh complained to the Child Welfare Committee in Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand, that a baby boy they received after payment had been taken back.

Police say that a couple reportedly paid 120,000 Indian rupees ($1,760) to Indwar. The couple complained that Indwar took their money in exchange for a child, and that she later took the child back from them without returning the money.

The baby in question was born May 1 to a shelter resident, and was apparently given to the couple two weeks later. On July 1, Indwar reportedly asked the couple to return to the shelter with the baby for some “formalities.” She then took the child from his adoptive parents and did not give him back. The baby is now in state custody.

Sister Konsalia described her experience in a video.

“I came to know that a baby, delivered in May, was missing when the Child Welfare Committee came to check,” she said in a video. “We found out that the baby had been sold off by a staffer.”

Sister Konsalia has recounted her conversation with Indwar.

“When I initially asked the staffer about the baby, she did not want to tell me anything. It was only when I kept pressing for details that they told me the baby had been sold,” she said.

A small portion of the money had been given to the guard, while nine times that amount was given to “a sister.”

Sister Konsalia said that Indwar told her she did not take any money.

The nun said she informed authorities about the matter and said the baby should be brought back.
A police source said that Indwar provided to police a handwritten note from Sister Konsalia asking her to take the blame on herself, Matters India reports.

Sister Konsalia’s defenders, including the bishops of India, are asking whether she was an accomplice, or the victim of a coerced confession.

Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi, speaking to NDTV, charged that police are “treating the whole of Mother Teresa’s organization as a criminal gang.”

Bishop Mascarenhas, speaking in his role as the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, condemned the shelter staffer accused of selling the babies, but said the rule of law was not being followed in Sister Konsalia’s case.

“Nobody was allowed to meet sister Konsalia in custody,” he said. “Her advocate could meet her on Wednesday, eight days after her arrest, only after we approached the court,” he said July 12, according to the Hindustan Times. “During the 10 minutes interaction that the advocate could have with her, she said she was forced by the police to give her statement.”

Mascarenhas had objected that the nun was being treated as a criminal. He said she is diabetic with varicose veins, and wasn’t aware of her statement.

Mascarenhas condemned the sale.

“It shouldn’t have happened. But, accusing the entire congregation of Mother Teresa is wrong,” he said July 12.

Babulal Marandi, former chief minister of Jharkhand, visited the shelter July 14 and interacted with the sisters, the news site Matters India reports. He alleged that the case had become a “media trial.” He said the Missionaries of Charity have served society for many years.

“The government should conduct a direct probe instead of issuing statements to the media,” he said.

However, police have said the accusations were filed on the basis of evidence, including confessions by the accused.

All four babies have been recovered by authorities. At the time of the arrests, there were a dozen pregnant women living at the shelter. They have now been transferred to a government-run home.

A spokesperson for the Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity said that the order stopped dealing with child adoption in India in 2015, and did not take money for adoptions when it did assist in them. The order is conducting their own investigation about the case.

Members of opposition parties have accused India’s ruling party, the Hindu-nationalist group the Bharatiya Janata Party, of harassing and persecuting the missionaries on the basis of unbelievable allegations.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has backed the Missionaries of Charity. She accused the BJP government of making “malicious attempts to malign” the charity and the name of Mother Theresa.

Rameshwar Oraon, the leader of Jharkhand Congress and a former police officer, said some police appeared to be taking part in the political controversy over the police action against the Missionaries of Charity.

The Jharkhand police have also called for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into foreign funds received by Missionaries of Charity institutions. R.K. Mallick, the senior police officer, told NDTV that the recommendation was motivated by irregularities investigators detected.

The Albanian-born Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata in 1950. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and canonized in 2016. There are now about 3,000 Missionaries of Charity sisters around the world.

In addition to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, members of the Missionaries of Charity take a fourth vow pledging “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”

[…]

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Kavanaugh’s friends describe man of humility, service, faith

July 17, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Jul 17, 2018 / 03:04 pm (CNA).- Long-time friends and associates of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh say he is a sincere Catholic, committed to living the tenets of his faith.

Last week, President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to serve as Associate United States Supreme Court. In a short speech following the announcement, Kavanaugh highlighted his commitment to his faith and his family.

“I’ve known Brett – Judge Kavanaugh – for 20 years,” Shannen Coffin, an attorney in Washington, D.C., told CNA. “He’s a very smart person, but he’s a regular guy, too. He’s a devoted father, and spouse.”

Judge Kavanaugh has spent the last 12 years on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals but despite that formidable judicial record, Coffin says that there are “no airs about” him and he has a “humility in his approach to judging.”

“He’s also the guy who after a day of long meetings with senators, you know, and without fanfare, was serving food to the homeless.”

Coffin said that Kavanaugh “views the role of a judge in the constitutional system not as a political job, but as a job of interpreting statutes and interpreting the Constitution.”

On the topic of religious liberty, Coffin was quick to dismiss anyone who had doubts that Kavanaugh would be a staunch protector of religious freedoms.

“I think they’re fools,” he said bluntly. “I don’t have any hesitations in thinking that this is a great appointment for those concerned about religious liberty.”

Kavanaugh is a “vigilant defender of religious liberty,” Coffin said, as evidenced by his line of questioning in the recent court case brought against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, (WMATA) by the Archdiocese of Washington. While that case has yet to be decided, Kavanaugh’s questions and reasoning made it clear that he thought WMATA had acted illegally by prohibiting religious-themed advertisements.

“What really should impress Catholics is that this is a guy who is committed to the fundamental text of the Constitution and protecting those liberties preserved in the Constitution.”

Msgr. John Enzler, CEO and president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is another longtime friend of Kavanaugh. Enzler told CNA they first met when Kavanaugh was just 10 years old. At the time, Kavanaugh was a member of Little Flower Parish in Bethesda, where Enzler was serving as a priest.

“He was always a wonderful young guy,” Enzler told CNA.

Kavanaugh attended an all-boys Catholic elementary school before moving on to Georgetown Prep. At Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh played sports, captaining the basketball team in his senior year.

“They weren’t that talented that particular year, but he was still the captain,” said Enzler.

Like Coffin, Enzler was quick to note that Kavanaugh is “really just a regular guy,” who loves sports, and loves being with friends.

Enzler said he did not know that Kavanaugh would be the president’s Supreme Court nominee until about three hours before the official announcement, but it was Enzler’s presence at the announcement that tipped off some people that Kavanaugh was Trump’s pick.

“When they saw me, they knew Brett was the guy, because they knew I was a friend of Brett’s,” said Enzler. “I kind of blew the cover, by being there for my friend.”

Enzler said that when they first discussed Kavanaugh’s possible nomination, the judge was concerned about breaking his volunteering commitments. Kavanaugh asked if he could still come to serve the homeless later that week, saying he said wanted to do so regardless of the nomination result.

Kavanaugh called Enzler on Sunday, and said there was a “50-50” chance he would be the nominee, and that he would like for him to attend the announcement were he picked.

“By the way, if I’m chosen or not, I’d still want to come on Wednesday night to serve food, is that okay with you?”

Kavanaugh has been a consistent volunteer at Catholic Charities, coming to serve the homeless about “15, 16 times” over the last few years, Enzler said.

“He’s been here a bunch of times and serving, and nobody knew who he was,” said Enzler. “Not just a one-time thing.”

After the announcement was made last Monday, Enzler said he received another call from Kavanaugh two days later, checking if it would still be okay for him to volunteer that evening. On this occasion the media came too, and Kavanaugh definitely wasn’t the unknown volunteer he had been before.

“This is the guy next door, this is what he’s like,” said Enzler. “He’s not like some intellectual powerhouse you’d never talk to. This is a guy who’s very friendly, very outgoing, very nice, lot of laughter, big smile, wonderful father, wonderful husband, man of faith, lives his faith, goes to church every week.”

While Enzler said he was “very happy” for his long-time friend, he is concerned about what his family will face during the nomination proceedings.

“The process is very difficult,” explained Enzler. “Your family and you personally take a lot of heat from people who don’t agree with you.”

Most of all, Enzler believes that Kavanaugh is a “man of complete integrity, and a man of complete honesty” who will make his decisions in court based upon what is best for the nation and what is in-line with the Constitution.

“I’m very proud of him,” said Enzler. “He will be a superb justice of the Supreme Court.”

 

[…]

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‘Weeping’ statue of Mary investigated by N.M. diocese

July 17, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

Las Cruces, N.M., Jul 17, 2018 / 01:15 pm (CNA).- A New Mexican diocese is investigating a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that some Catholics say has been “weeping” for more than a month.

Bishop Oscar Cantú of the Diocese of Las Cruces gave a public update July 15 about the diocesan investigation into an allegedly “weeping” statue of the Virgin Mary. The cast bronze image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been drawing crowds to the church named in her honor in Hobbs, N.M. 


A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hobbs, N.M., appears to be weeping. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Las Cruces.

Parishioners first reported seeing tears appearing to stream down the hollow statue in May.

Giving an update on the investigation launched that same month, Bishop Cantú said on Sunday that some had also reported a pleasant smell around the statue.

“Some of the witnesses claimed it smelled of roses, so something similar to the oil I bless and consecrate each year that we use for baptism, for confirmations and for ordination of the priests.” So far, the investigation seems to support these reports. As part of the efforts to determine the origin and nature of the tears, samples were sent for chemical analysis. The results determined that the tears were made of a scented olive oil.

The statue itself is also being examined.  “We examined the interior of the hollow statue,” Cantú told reporters. “There’s nothing on the interior that’s not supposed to be there, except for cobwebs. So we took pictures; we examined it.”

It was thought by investigators that the tears might have been the result of residual wax from the casting process, but this appears to have been ruled out. Cantú said that the manufacturers had assured them that the heat of the casting process made it impossible for there to be any moisture left in the statue. Addressing the possibility that the weeping statue could be an hoax, he noted that if it was he could not see how it was being accomplished.

On July 11, it was announced that Bishop Cantú was being transferred to  take up the post of bishop coadjutor in the diocese of San José, California. He is scheduled to take up that post at the end of September. Before he leaves, Cantú said he intends to visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe to see the statue for himself.

Before making any final decision on the miraculous nature of the weeping statue, the bishop said he would be seeking advice from a higher authority. “I’m checking best practices,” he told reporters. “Certainly, I have a final say, but I would defer to the wisdom of Pope Francis.”

In the meantime, the Hobbs church continues to see a steady stream of visitors. Even without formal recognition by church authorities, many are finding it a moving experience.

“I’ve read most of those written testimonies, and they are stories of tremendous faith, people who have been dealing with terrible suffering in their lives and have felt a tremendous spiritual consolation that Mary walks with us in our tears” Cantú said.

He noted that for many Catholics in the border diocese of Las Cruces, the image of Our Lady crying with them was deeply powerful. “I can’t help but think of my own shedding of tears for the poor people who come to our border, fleeing life-threatening situations. The tears of those children who are separated from their parents. There are many reasons we would shed tears, and God stands with us in those moments.”

The diocesan investigation continues.

 

 

 

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The Church is without a camerlengo

July 17, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2018 / 12:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With the July 5 death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the office of camerlengo is now vacant. A sensitive position, above all in the period between the death of a pope and the election of his succe… […]

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Vatican’s former legal chief says canon law should include care of creation

July 17, 2018 CNA Daily News 2

Rome, Italy, Jul 17, 2018 / 12:14 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s former top advisor on canon law has made a public call to insert legal obligations for the care of creation into the Church’s universal canon law –  making it a legal duty for Catholics not only “not to harm” the environment, but to improve it.

According to veteran Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, former head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, made the proposal during a July 12 event in Rome titled “Dialogue on Catholic Investments for the Energy Transition.”

During the closed-door discussion, representatives from the Vatican and Catholic organizations spoke about how to invest responsibly towards a transition to renewable energies.

In an interview with Vatican Insider, Coccopalmerio discussed canons 208-221 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law, which enumerate “Obligations and rights of all the faithful.”

This section “outlines an ‘identikit’ of the faithful and of their life as a Christian,” the cardinal said, but noted that nothing is mentioned “about one of the most serious duties: that of protecting and promoting the natural environment in which the faithful live.”

The proposal he outlined, which he suggested could be submitted to the pope but considered by his former department, would be to ask for a new canon to be added to the obligations of the all faithful, specifically treating environmental responsibility. 

Coccopalmerio, whose resignation was accepted by Pope Francis in April this year, went on to give his own ideas of how it might be worded: “Every faithful Christian, mindful that creation is the common house, has the grave duty not only not to damage, but also to improve, both through everyday behavior, and through specific initiatives, the natural environment in which each person is called to live.”

The canons Coccopalmerio referenced address general obligations for Catholics relating to the practice of the faith and maintaining communion with the Church. They do not address specific moral obligations or particular doctrinal teachings. Those canons do not, for example, include the Church’s prohibition of artificial contraception or the obligation to observe just labor practices. 

Drawing inspiration from Laudato si’, Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, participants at the event agreed on the Catholic Program of Disinvestment, sponsored by the Catholic Climate Movement, which urges ecclesial institutions to make a public commitment to move away from financial investments in fossil fuels.

Participants also highlighted the importance of pursuing ethical investment strategies in line with the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, according to Tornielli.

Pope Francis has often expressed his environmental concerns and, in his message on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in 2016, he said maintaining our common home ought to be considered a work of mercy.

“We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness,” the pope said in that message.

Looking at the concept of works of mercy, “we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces,” he said. Francis proposed caring for creation as “a complement” to the two traditional sets of seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

“May the works of mercy also include care for our common home,” he said, explaining that as a spiritual work, care for creation “calls for a grateful contemplation of God’s world which allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us.”

In a conference held earlier this month to mark the third anniversary of the publication of Laudato si’, Pope Francis said a change of heart is needed when it comes to issues related to the environment.

Future actions which promote the care of creation, “presuppose a transformation on a deeper level, namely a change of hearts and minds,” he said, adding that while this obligation binds all religious  communities, Christians have a special role to play.

[…]

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Central African bishops call for peace amid renewed violence

July 17, 2018 CNA Daily News 0

Bangui, Central African Republic, Jul 17, 2018 / 11:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of the Central African Republic have urged Catholics not to give in to calls for revenge attacks on Muslims, following a surge in violence and the murder of a priest.

The CAR has suffered violence since December 2012, when several bands of mainly Muslim rebel groups formed an alliance, taking the name Seleka, and seized power.

In reaction to the Seleka’s attacks, some Central Africans formed self-defense groups called anti-balaka. Some of these groups, mainly composed of Christians, began attacking Muslims out of revenge, and the conflict took on a sectarian character.

A group calling itself the League of Defense of the Church issued a statement earlier this month saying it would defend the Church and avenge killed priests, charging that both the government and the Church hierarchy have failed to protect Christians.

The Central African Bishops’ Conference responded, saying, “The bishops of Central Africa were outraged by this communiqué from an organization called ‘The League of Defense of the Church’ in the Central African Republic of which they know nothing about.”

“The projects that this league claims to achieve are at odds with the gospel, the aspirations of the church and its mission in the Central African Republic,” continued Fr. Joseph Tanga Koti, general secretary of the bishops’ conference.

“The Bishops of the Central African Republic want Central Africans to be vigilant. There are always enemies of peace who want to create a conflict between Christians and Muslims to show that Christians and Muslims cannot live together in Central Africa,” the conference has said.

The CAR held a general election in 2015-16 which installed a new government, but militant groups continue to terrorize local populations. Thousands of people have been killed in the violence, and at least a million have been displaced. At least half of Central Africans depend on humanitarian aid, the U.N. reports.

Pope Francis visited the CAR during his trip to Africa in 2015, and urged the country’s leaders to work for peace and reconciliation.

Three priests have keen killed in the CAR this year.

Fr. Firmin Gbagoua, vicar general of the Diocese of Bambari, was shot June 29 while eating dinner by the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic, and ex-Seleka militia dominated by the Fulani ethnic group.

In May, an attack on Our Lady of Fatima parish in Bangui while Mass was being said left 15 dead, including Fr. Albert Toungoumale Baba.

And in April, Fr. Joseph Désiré Angbabata was killed together with some of his parishioners in an attack on his church in Seko, about 40 miles northeast of Bambari.

[…]