A group of clerics and laymen have rejected the appointment of a new metropolitan bishop of Juba.
The group from the Archdiocese of Juba protested the appointment of Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla in a letter to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on December 12.
The Vatican had announced the resignation of Bishop Paulino Lukudu Loro, and the the appointment of Bishop Ameyu the same date.
Until his appointment, Bishop Ameyu was the bishop of Torit Diocese, having served in that position since early this year.
The defiant group said they had written to the Congregation asking for dialogue over allegations raised against Bishop Ameyu, but the Vatican “ignored the concerns of the majority people of the Archdiocese.”
They also accuse the newly appointed archbishop of fathering at least six children.
They said Bishop Ameyu will have to work from Torit as “there is no chance for him to serve as archbishop of Juba,” adding that they will not cooperate with him.
They alleged that some government officials and priests plotted and influenced a Vatican diplomat to appoint Ameyu for their personal interests.
“Given the genuine concerns based on the legitimate issues cited in our memo, we had honestly expected the suspension of the announcement, until further investigation can be conducted on the matter,” they said in the letter obtained by Eye Radio.
“Now that the misled Vatican has arrogantly ignored our concerns by choosing the path of undue confrontation, we have no other option than to respond with proportional means.”
The group said priests from Juba were not chosen for episcopal appointments in Yei in 1986, and recently in both Rumbek and Torit, asking who among our priests in Juba can be appointed bishop anywhere?”
They raised concerns over Bishop Ameyu’s knowledge of local language and the culture of the indigenous tribes of the Archdiocese of Juba that include Bari, Nyangwara, Mundari, Pojulu, Lokoya and Lulubo.
The group also said they have evidence that some of the priests of Juba, are polygamists, businessmen and senior government security personnel” who worked to influence support for Ameyu.
“We are against a person brought from outside just to promote personal interests while maliciously leaving out the qualified sons of this land,” they protested.
The defiant group added: “We feel that the Vatican can still save the situation now instead of having to eat its words the hard way later.”
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Published Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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