Vatican City, Dec 14, 2003 / 22:00 pm
During an audience on the occasion of their Ad Limina visit to Rome, Pope John Paul II encouraged Sudanese Catholic bishops to keep speaking on behalf of the persecuted Christian minority in the mostly Muslim African country.
Addressing the bishops in English, the Pontiff highlighted “the figures of two intrepid witnesses to the faith, two holy individuals whose lives are intimately connected with your land: St. Josephine Bakhita and St. Daniel Comboni.”
“From her earliest years,” said the Pope, “St. Josephine Bakhita knew the cruelty and brutality with which man can treat his fellow man.” “Her life inspires the firm resolve to work effectively to free people from oppression and violence, ensuring that their human dignity is respected in the full exercise of their rights.”
The Holy Father said this is “the same resolve that must guide the Church in the Sudan today as the nation makes the transition from hostility and conflict to peace and concord.”