Gatluke Chuol Reat
Open letter to His Holiness, Pope Francis,
March 17th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – I want to thank you for the passion, the faith, the courage and the support for the marginalized and unrecognized victims of wars, violence, sexual abuses which culminated into the recent conference in Rome on sexual abuses and sexual violence that you have brought to the papacy.
With a heavy heart, I am saddened to learn that the President of the Republic of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who murdered innocent people of South Sudan, has traveled to the Vatican on Saturday, March 16, 2019.
Your Holiness, Pope Francis,
It is on the record that you said, “Your being Catholic entails a greater responsibility: first of all to yourself, to be committed to being consistent with the Christian vocation; and then to contemporary culture, to contribute to recognizing the transcendent dimension in human life, the imprint of the creative work of God, from the very first moment of conception.” In this case, the President of the Republic of South Sudan could not be any more opposite to your Highness.
I studied a Philosophy of Religion, where I had a chance to studied His Holiness, Pope John Paul II’s FIDES ET RATIO at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. In this particular case, Pope John Paul II had argued “The different faces of human truth, important moments in the encounter of faith and reason and the knowledge of faith and the demands of philosophical reason”. I am therefore convinced that, yes, with all the works by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, there is a room to forgive and acknowledgement of reasoning behind our decision as Christians. However, we also have to hold ourselves accountable as fellow Christians for the sake of humanity.
During my second year at the University, I became a Nietzschean, for the very this fact that Nietzsche said, “God is dead” and “God will remain dead, because we have killed him”. I personally think that this visit by the President of the Republic of South Sudan has proved just that.
I had then, at the University of Western Ontario referred these lines from Nietzsche to the lost of direction from fellow Christians communities when it comes to confronting injustices and failed to stand with our fellow humans being once they need us.
However, we always remained hopeful and Your Holiness, you are the proved of that hope. I hope Your Highness receives my letter and reflect on this matter. This President of the Republic of South Sudan has killed 400,000 of South Sudanese people and still killings them.
Your Holiness, at the time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me — Matthew 18:1-5.
The President of the Republic of South Sudan could not be more opposite than this, he is killings the children of South Sudan. Therefore, before entered Vatican, he should answer the current situation in South Sudan.
Although there is only one day left before the President of South Sudan visiting your Highness in Rome, I wish this visit could have not take place to begin with.
Thank you, Your Highness, for your consideration
Gatluke Chuol Reat is the Leader of Workers’ Party of Upper Nile (WPU).