Cardinal Zubeir Denounces Arrest of Vicar General

Khartoum, Sudan
His Eminence Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum on Sunday, May 22, 2005, denounced the arrest of Rev. Fr. Peter Ayoung Maguin, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Khartoum, by the Sudan Security personnel.

Addressing the Catholic congregation gathered at the Square of St. Matthew’s Cathedral Parish for the solemn opening of the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress of Khartoum, Cardinal Zubeir made a public announcement of the arrest of his Vicar Fr. Peter Ayoung that very Sunday.

The Prelate condemned the barbaric way in which Fr. Vicar General was arrested. Fr. Ayoung was on his way to Sts. Peter and Paul’s Parish at the suburb of Amarat, where he was scheduled to celebrate the Mass for the faithful at 10:00 AM.

According to the Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Khartoum, Fr. Ayoung was chased by three un-known gunmen who drove in an Atos vehicle. They followed Fr. Ayoung from his resident in Arkawit and blocked his way at Afra Shopping centre. They forced him to return the car home and be ready for Medani where he was detained for the whole day.

Catholic Church clergymen said their colleague Fr. Ayoung was chained like a criminal and taken to Medani against his will, which was described as “ Barbaric and inhuman!” This is the second time that the Vicar General has been jailed. He was arrested in April by the same security agents who accused him of having signed a deal with them in order to posses a car for himself (Fr. Peter Ayoung whom they named in a forged paper as Ustaz Peter Ayoung).

According to the Leader of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Zubeir Wako, the reason for the arrest of his Vicar General was the issue of the Catholic Retreat Centre in Gerief West, which was about to be confiscated and sold to an un-known buyer on the claim that the government wanted the land.

The Cardinal lamented that the inhuman act against his priest, Fr. Peter Ayoung, saying, “ the same people who arrested Fr. Peter Ayoung are the ones who arrested him today, but they have no evidence of what they accused Fr. Peter Ayoung of”! He went on to say, “there is something in the minds of the people, those in the Government and the police!”

“During this peace time, why something like this happens?” “ Such things are not supposed to happen again”. The Cardinal remarked. He warned them saying, “ such incidence would encourage the people to go back to the bush and fight- and intensify war”, Cardinal Wako lamented!

He asked those Christians in the government to do something in their capacity as politicians and Sudanese to stop such aggressive acts against the Catholic Church and its members. He said often people assume that strong people are those who carry guns, but this is a wrong perception he commented.

After having announced the arrest of the Catholic Vicar, the Cardinal asked the faithful to continue with the lesson he asked them to attend; that was prayers for the sustainability of peace in Sudan and God will do anything possible.

He warned the faithful that, the devil might defeat them (Sudanese) by saying, “once you stop prayers, the devil would triumph”! He then called upon the faithful to continue their prayers for sustaining this peace signed. The prayer is scheduled for Monday every week in all the parishes and prayer centres.

The Vicar General, who was arrested on Sunday, was released that very day late in the evening in Wad Medani Central. He arrived in Khartoum the same day, accompanied by Fr. William Deng Mayen, the Diocesan Education Secretary of the Catholic Save the Savable Programme for Displaced Children.

Posted in: Governance
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