Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church of the Ivory Coast is experiencing a period of deep pain. The news of the tragic car accident involving Mgr. Ante Jozic, Apostolic Nuncio of the country while he was in Croatia for the episcopal ordination he was to receive on May 1st, was joined by the tragic suicide of Father Bile Richard of the diocese of Grand Bassam which strongly shook the entire local Church. "Never in the history of our Country had a priest committed suicide", writes to Fides Father Donald Zagore, an Ivorian priest of the Society for African Missions (SMA). "In a pastoral context in which the Ivorian Catholic Church already needs Bishops in the four dioceses of Odienné, Bondoukou, Yamoussoukro, Korhogo, the cross seems to become heavier", highlights Zagore. "However, even if the challenges are heavy, we must continue to hope beyond all hope. The paschal mystery of our Lord Jesus gives us the proof: beyond the weight of the cross there is hope in victory. The pain is strong but the faith in the liberating and salvific power of the cross invites our Church to remain steadfast. With the paschal mystery of Christ it becomes clear to everyone that death will not have the last word in the lives of those who put their faith and hope in Jesus".
The missionary concludes by saying that "the Catholic Church of the Ivory Coast is a church built on rock, Jesus Christ. It remains so strong in its foundations and for this reason it will not be destroyed by any of the challenges and difficulties that will arise in its path". (DZ /AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/5/2019)