Juba (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan started their Plenary Assembly in Juba (South Sudan) yesterday, September 19. At the heart of the works of the Assembly, which will last one week, there are three issues: the situation of the major seminary, the setting up of a Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference (Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference, SCBC) and projects to celebrate the Year of Faith, which will begin on 11 October 2012 and will end on November 24, 2013. The opening Mass of the Assembly was celebrated by Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Archbishop of Khartoum and President of the SCBC. The Cardinal arrived by plane in Juba from Khartoum, via Nairobi, Kenya.
Cardinal Wako said that the Year of Faith is an opportunity to clarify some issues that are not yet well understood within the Church.
After the independence of the South, thousands of citizens of South Sudan who lived in Khartoum were forced to return to their areas of origin, because now considered foreigners by Sudanese authorities. Most of them are Catholics. Consequently, as reported by CISA agency, that cites Fr. Santino Maurino, Secretary General of the SCBC, in the Archdiocese of Khartoum the number of believers has reduced considerably. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/09/2012)