“The armed men targeted his (Carlassare’s) room. They knocked the door and started shooting the door till they broke it. They shot the door till it opened,” Marol told ACI Africa, adding, “After they shot the Bishop, they ran away. It is really a targeted shooting.”
In his recounting of the events, Fr. Andrea told ACI Africa of the armed men, “When they saw me, they told me to go away. One of them fired two bullets at me.” The shots landed on the chair behind him.
Fr. Andrea added, making reference to the bishop-elect, “I think they shot him three bullets, two on one leg and the other one on the other leg. This is what happened. He was shot in front of his door.”
Carlassare is in a stable condition, a source said, citing a doctor who is attending to the bishop-elect. He added that doctors have controlled the heavy bleeding.
Plans are underway to airlift the bishop-elect to Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, through the services of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a source involved in the evacuation told ACI Africa.
The episcopal ordination of Carlassare, the Italian-born Comboni Missionary priest, was scheduled to take place on Pentecost Sunday, May 23.
He had been serving in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese since he arrived in the East-Central African country in 2005.
He traveled to Rumbek Diocese on April 15, following days of spiritual retreat in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
Rumbek Diocese became vacant in July 2011 following the sudden death of Bishop Caesar Mazzolari. The Comboni Missionary bishop collapsed while offering Mass on the morning of July 16, 2011, one week after South Sudan’s independence. He was confirmed dead at the Rumbek State Hospital that morning.
Fr. Fernando Colombo, a member of the Comboni Missionaries, governed the diocese as diocesan administrator until Dec. 27, 2013. Fernando Cardinal Filoni, then-prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed Fr. Mathiang as the next diocesan administrator.
In an April 26 statement, the South Sudan Human Rights Commission condemned the “barbaric” shooting and cited ACI Africa’s report.
“The event leading to this unfortunate development and other relevant information, it’s has become clear that the Bishop-elect was sole target of the attack,” the commission stated.
(Story cotinues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“The commission hereby condemns this barbaric act in strongest terms possible and urges both the State and National Government to institute an investigation committee to conduct thorough investigation with the aim of holding the culprits accountable,” the commission stated. It called on Catholics “to remain calm” while the government investigates the shooting.
This story was updated on April 26.