Letter to Secretary of State Blinken Regarding Conflict in South Sudan, October 13, 2021
October 13, 2021
The Honorable Antony Blinken
Secretary of State
United States State Department
2100 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
-transmitted via email-
Dear Secretary Blinken:
As Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace I write to share our Committee’s long-standing concern over the state of conflict and the horrible toll in lives lost and property destroyed due to the intractable conflict in South Sudan. I am prompted to do so in response to a pastoral letter from the Catholic bishops of South Sudan entitled, “A Call to Servant Leadership in South Sudan.” I enclose a copy for your easy reference.
The bishops raise in poignant terms their concerns for peace and prosperity. Of particular note, they articulate the role that the Catholic Church has played in attempting stop the fighting and build peace. Pope Francis’ meeting at the Vatican with the two leading political figures in South Sudan in 2019 was seared into our memories when he knelt to kiss their feet pleading for peace. We also commend the interventions of the Community of Sant’ Egidio, a lay association of Catholics committed to social service. With so few viable civil society institutions in that country, the bishops of South Sudan should be afforded a more active role in the peace process.
Catholic Relief Services continues to play an important humanitarian role in South Sudan, supporting and complementing the work of the local Church. Our own Committee’s efforts, combined with the collaboration with the Church of England, the South Sudan Council of Churches and the many ecumenical partners from Europe have been sustained and public but remain underutilized in our appraisal. No other entities in South Sudan have been able to stand up for the people struggling to deal with the fighting, bad governance and repression than the faith communities and their affiliated social service and humanitarian organizations.
We urge you to work with us and our partners to redouble our efforts to stop the fighting and build a South Sudan worthy of the dreams that people have harbored since July 2011.
Most Reverend David J. Malloy
Bishop of Rockford
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace
SSCBS Pastoral Message, September 2021.pdf