Ecumenical letter to the Prime Minister of Canada concerning South Sudan

Monday, May 01 2017

The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Most Reverend Archbishop Fred J. Hiltz, Primate of The Anglican Church of Canada, and the Reverend Douglas H. Rollwage, Moderator of the 2016 General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada have signed a joint ecumenical letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, concerning the deteriorating situation in South Sudan.

In their letter, the religious leaders “commend the Government of Canada for aid and attention, both recent and in the past, which it has provided to South Sudan, as well as to Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria – four countries facing a desperate food scarcity crisis.” The ecumenical letter also notes that they and other Church leaders “are continuing to hear disturbing reports of gross violations of fundamental human rights being carried out with total impunity” in South Sudan. The three signatories ask the Government of Canada:

• To consider increasing its support to the UN mission in South Sudan;
• To speak out more emphatically at home and abroad on the food crisis in the region and the grave conflict in South Sudan, and to be a leading voice at the United Nations for greater international assistance;
• To encourage the international community to provide more humanitarian assistance and to assist in restoring the rule of law and protecting human rights;
• To work diligently with Canadian businesses both at home and abroad, as well as with the international community, including the United Nations Security Council, to prevent weapons and other military-grade material from reaching South Sudan.

On 23 February 2017, the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan released two communiqués on the crisis, one to the international community, the other to Catholics and the people of South Sudan, appealing for international assistance and calling for peace and reconciliation among the peoples of South Sudan. His Excellency the Most Rev. Charles Daniel Balvo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, is also a signatory to the second letter requesting international assistance.

Link to the joint ecumenical letter (PDF)

Link to the first communiqué by the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan (PDF)

Link to the second communiqué on Vatican Radio