Loading
Pope sends top Vatican official to Ivory Coast
By Alan Holdren
Cardinal Peter Turkson. Credit: Mazur
Cardinal Peter Turkson. Credit: Mazur

.- Internal conflicts in the Ivory Coast that threaten tear the country apart are a cause of such great concern for Pope Benedict XVI that he sent a top African official from the Vatican to plead for peace.

After four days of continuous battle in several of Ivory Coast’s cities, Pope Benedict pleaded for an end to the violence that has confined people to their homes or forced hundreds of thousands to flee to nearby countries.

Ivory Coast is "traumatised by painful internal conflicts and grave social and political tensions," said the Pope in his French-language greeting after the March 30 general audience at the Vatican.

Military forces supporting president-elect Alassane Ouattara are fighting to remove former president Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to cede the office since he lost in still disputed elections last November.

Fighting is taking place in cities across the nation as Ouattara's supporters attempt to push the ex-president out of office.

The Pope decried the violence and expressed his closeness to all those who have lost loved ones or are suffering because of the conflict.

The Associated Press estimates that 462 people have been killed and over one million displaced.

"I make an urgent appeal for a process of constructive dialogue for the common good to begin as quickly as possible," said the Pope.

"The dramatic clashes necessitate the urgent restoration of respect and peaceful co-existence. Every effort must be made to this end."

Bishop Gaspard Béby Gnéba of Man, Ivory Coast told Fides news agency on March 29 that the humanitarian situation was deteriorating as the fighting continued.

“The conditions for people, which were already dramatic, have worsened," he lamented.

There is little information on civilian conditions because of the continuous fighting. However, the bishop has learned from contacts within the Church that many fleeing Ivorians have gone to Liberia, where the Church is organizing medical and food assistance and shelter.

Liberian priest, Fr. Joseph, told Fides that they are welcoming Ivorians with open arms, but scrambling to provide for them.

Not long ago, he said, he himself fled to the Ivory Coast due to the Liberian civil war.

"We lived as refugees for four years in that country. Now it's our turn to welcome our Ivorian brothers and sisters," he said. "But we need the help of the universal Church."

The conflict is a cause of such great concern to the Pope that he has sent one of his top curial officials to the nation, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Cardinal Turkson’s mission is to plead for peace on the Pope’s behalf.

As Pope Benedict explained at the general audience, Cardinal Turkson is also going to convey the solidarity of the Pope and the universal Church with the victims of the fighting.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
30

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Gospel
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

Saint
Date
07/29/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Homily
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: