Makeda Yohannes – Addis Ababa
The Ethiopian Catholic Church has joined the rest of the country in welcoming peace initiatives between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, C.M., the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa expressed satisfaction at a high-level Eritrean delegation in Addis Ababa for a peace mission.
The Ethiopian Cardinal who is also President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia, as well as the regional Chair of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA), was himself at the airport to receive the guests, in the company of the country’s Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.
The Catholic faith has always united Ethiopians and Eritreans
Describing the peace effort, Cardinal Berhaneyesus said that the arrival, in Addis, of the Eritrean delegation was a happy day for Catholics of the two countries. He said the Catholic faithful in both countries have been praying for peace since the conflict started. According to the Cardinal, the Catholic Church served as a bridge during the difficult years. Even when it was not easy to do, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea continued to meet and exchange notes on the pastoral concerns of both countries.
Cardinal thanks all those who pray for peace
“I thank the Catholic faithful in Ethiopia and Eritrea and those who are in the diaspora for continuously praying for peace. I would like to congratulate them for we have received answers to our prayers. This is the first step to sustainable peace, and I ask you to continue praying that with God’s grace this initiative may be successful. I invite all the Catholic faithful in both countries to pray for the governments of both countries that God may lead and bless the discussions they are holding to resolve the problems,” the Cardinal said.
The two countries are capable of solving problems
Cardinal Berhaneyesus added that it is essential to look to the wisdom of the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea in bringing about sustainable peace. He said Ethiopians and Eritreans are great people who in history have contributed a lot in bringing peace to other countries, and therefore are capable of solving their problems.
Dawn of a new season of hope
“I believe we don’t need to look for help anywhere else in bringing peace among our countries if we collaborate we can find solutions to our problems ourselves. Let us pray to God that He may guide us on the road for peace. Now in our countries it is the rainy season, and traditionally we say the coming season in September is a season of bright hope – let us pray we will get much more good news in this coming season of hope,” said Cardinal Berhaneyesus.