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Italian Shooting Survivor Becomes A Bishop In South Sudan



Thousands of people descended on a small town in central South Sudan to witness the ordination of Christian Carlassare as bishop of Rumbek – a celebratory end to what has been a traumatic year for the Italian cleric.

This is coming after he overcome a shooting and subsequent operations since Pope Francis appointed him a year ago.

Within a few weeks of arriving in South Sudan last April, the 44-year-old cleric was shot four times in the leg by assailants who broke into his home in Rumbek.

Six people, including a senior member of the Catholic clergy, are on trial in connection with the shooting – in a case prosecutors are pursing although the church wants it dropped.

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Friday’s mass in Rumbek was presided over by Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, the retired archbishop of Khartoum – and also attended by many other clergy and the new bishop’s parents.

The Italian is the first European to be ordained a bishop by an African cardinal in South Sudan.

In his sermon, Cardinal Wako said that the work of a bishop was often misunderstood.

“They think when someone becomes a bishop, he becomes a rich man,” he said, urging people to support Bishop Carlassare.

“Don’t take from him, encourage him to go on.”

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