As Ethiopia celebrates a New Year, Cardinal Berhaneyesus prays for peace and reconciliation
Paul Samasumo – Vatican City.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia, Cardinal Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel C.M, says he wishes that in the New Year, Ethiopians will create space for peace and reconciliation.
Our country is at war
“First of all, I wish all Ethiopians peace and health for the New Year, 2015, on behalf of the Ethiopian Catholic Church and myself. I congratulate you all, for, by God’s grace, we have passed from the Year of St. Mark to the Year of St. Luke. May the love of God the Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,” said the Ethiopian prelate in a goodwill message.
He added, “Dear brothers and sisters, our country is in an internal war. In the New Year, our church implores all parties to give space for peace and reconciliation, to sit down for dialogue to save our country and people from destruction, for war is destructive, and nobody benefits from it. We entrust the believers to be diligent in prayers so that God may grant us peace,” said Cardinal Berhaneyesus.
Conversations that lead to peace, not abuse
Cardinal Berhaneyesus also invites Ethiopians at home and in the diaspora to take personal responsibility for what is happening in their country.
“We use our time (well) when we accept responsibility for the past and the present. We save time when we become instruments of peace. Peace starts from our thoughts. The commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” is for everyone. “Thou shalt not kill” means respect the life of all people. This order applies not only to members of your association, to members of your family, to members of your ethnicity, but to all human beings. Our conversations should lead to peace. The gospel teaches us that our speech should heal wounds and lead to reconciliation and unity. Conversations that bring hatred and unnecessary competition hurt us. Words that abuse brothers and sisters should be avoided at home, work, school, and especially on social media. Rather, peaceful dialogue that prioritises the common good benefits us all,” the Cardinal encouraged.
Help each other as much as you can
The resumption of fighting late last month, August, between the country’s military and separatist rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front shattered a fragile truce that had been in force since March.
Devastated by the effects of COVID-19, socio-economic challenges, a punishing drought in some parts of the country and the various internal conflicts, ordinary Ethiopians hope the New Year will bring better prospects.
As elsewhere on the continent, Ethiopians are weary of the high cost of living and rising prices, especially during the festive season.
Aware of the difficulties many Ethiopians are going through, the Archbishop of Addis has urged compatriots to “remember your brothers and sisters who are in need during the occasion of the New Year feast. We should support and help each other as much as we can,” he said.
Ethiopian New Year
Ethiopia has its own calendar with 13 months, and each of the 12 months has 30 days. As the New Year usually comes with a change of season, the New Year in Ethiopia is generally welcomed with new hope.
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