Makeda Yohannes - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia's new Minister of Peace and former speaker of parliament, Mrs Muferiat Kamil has led a strong government delegation on a courtesy call to Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, CM, at the Ethiopia Catholic Secretariat (ECS).
Peace Minister visits Cardinal Berhaneyesus at ECS
The Peace Minister, during her visit to the Catholic Church, was accompanied by Almaz Mekonnen, State Minister for Peacebuilding and Kefyalew Tefera, State Minister for Capacity Building and Modernisation. Other high government officials were also in attendance. The delegation was met by ECS’ Deputy Secretary General, Fr. Teshome Fikre,.
In the ensuing meeting, Cardinal Berhaneyesus congratulated the newly appointed Minter of Peace and expressed his belief that the dedicated collaboration of the ministry with all stakeholders such as religious leaders and their institutions would be crucial to the peacebuilding process and bringing about sustainable peace to the country. The Cardinal took the opportunity to brief the minister and government delegation on the structure of the Catholic Church and efforts of the Church in integral human development through education, health and other social services.
Ministry seeks collaboration with religious leaders
For her part, the Minister of Peace, Mrs Muferiat said that collaboration with religious leaders and their institutions is essential for her ministry as they strive to bring about sustainable peace and reconciliation in the nation. She explained that the purpose of the visit was part of that effort to ask religious leaders to firmly continue their support for peacebuilding and the process of national reconciliation and also to ask for their blessings as the new ministry begins its work.
“We are very pleased with our visit to the Catholic Church; (In you) we have a reliable partner for peacebuilding. We hope that we can work closely with you in addressing some of the challenges our nation is facing and also assure you of our collaboration. We also appreciate that you have welcomed us to your Secretariat so warmly,” said the Peace Minister.
The Government of Ethiopia happy with Catholic schools
The officials from the Peace Ministry further added that they know from experience the contribution and achievements of the Catholic Church concerning producing morally strong citizens for the country through Catholic schools. They also expressed hope that the Church would continue to enhance this success.
Cardinal Berhaneyesus was joined, at the meeting, by Bishop Lisanuchristos Mathos, the Eparch of Bahirdar-Dessie. Also present were partners of the Catholic Church, representatives of religious congregations, leaders of the lay council and heads of Catholic institutions as well as ECS management.