The group also wrote that they have evidence that some of the priests of Juba, "who are also polygamists, businessmen and senior government security personnel" worked to manipulate Msgr. Kadima to support Ameyu "who would … protect their personnel [sic] interests."
These priests, the concerned clerics and laymen charged, divided several senior positions in the archdiocese, including vicar general, among themselves Dec. 8.
Secondly, the letter asks, "Who among our priests in Juba can be appointed bishop anywhere?"
It charges that priests from Juba were passed over for episcopal appointments in Yei in 1986, and recently in both Rumbek and Torit.
"Should we understand that the Vatican listens only when there are real violent threats attached," they asked. "Otherwise, we still find it inexplicable why and how the local church of Juba, already blessed with over 30 local priests who have excelled in their pastoral, administrative and academic experience should be humiliated by getting a Bishop who has two concubines and six biological children. How can our mother Church go for this Bishop when some of our priests were disqualified on unfounded rumours of fathering only one child?"
Finally, the letter says that Ameyu's having fathered at least six children "is common knowledge and does not need much prove [sic]." They charge that he has a concubine in Gudele, located just outside Juba.
The concerned people of Juba wrote that they are "a generous and hospitable people … kind hearted and straightforward people who do not tolerate any form of humiliation. We take long to react but once the gloves come off, it becomes difficult to calm things later."
They maintained that their opposition "should not be misinterpreted as tribalism," saying they have "no objection in having a bishop from outside the Archdiocese," noting that most of their bishops have not been indigenous.
"Therefore, it should be the question of being Bari or none [sic] Bari, but rather appointing a good priest with right qualifications," they wrote.
The Bari an ethnic group who are centered in Juba.
The protesters added that they are "not questioning or interfering with the prerogative of the Holy Father to appoint bishops," but are "only against the manipulation and the buying of the process by politicians and other interest groups.
(Story continues below)
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"We are against a person brought from outside just to promote personal interests while maliciously leaving out the qualified sons of this land," they wrote.
The letter says that Archbishop van Megen and Msgr. Kadima "have gone so low and naïve that they have irrevocably lost the good will of the people of Juba," charging that they have given in "to worldly pleasures to the extent of misleading the Propaganda Fide" and the Holy Father, choosing "to serve individual government officials and some lobbyists instead of serving the local Church."
According to the protesters, Ameyu's appointment had already been made while the consultation to find an Archbishop of Juba was being conducted.
They charge that the Juba archbishop "must be a visible sign of unity among all the faithful," saying that this requires mastery of English and Arabic, as well as "ample knowledge of local language and the culture of the indigenous tribes of the Archdiocese of Juba: Bari, Nyangwara, Mundari, Pojulu, Lokoya and Lulubo."
"Where does Bishop Stephen come close on these requirements," they asked.
They charged that the nuncio, based in Nairobi, has dismissed their allegations against Ameyu as unsubstantiated, and believed those against local priests "without any investigation."