Priest Murdered in Central African Republic

Church Leaders Call for Peace

Rome, (Zenit.org) | 803 hits

Church leaders in the Central African Republic have decried the Good Friday murder of a priest by a group of armed men.

Father Christ Forman Wilibona, a priest for the Diocese of Bossangoa, was driving to his parish, Saint Kisito Church in Paoua, when he was shot six times, according to a statement issued by Caritas, the Church’s federation of relief and development agencies.

“We denounce and condemn these barbaric acts from another age,” said Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, head of Caritas. “We invite the people of the Central African Republic as well as all men and women of good will to pray for the return of peace and security to our country and to open their hearts to dialogue and reconciliation.”

His murder came two days after the kidnapping of Archbishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo Aziagbya, bishop of Bossangoa and three other priests of the diocese in Batangafo by former Seleka fighters.

Archbishop Nzapalainga noted the rise in religious-oriented violence, especially in the northwest of the country. 

“We denounce and condemn these barbaric acts from another age,” he said. “They could compromise the move towards national reconciliation we have so longed for.”

He called on the government to restore the rule of law, and for African Union and international forces to disarm militias so people are free to move around the country.

“We invite the people of the Central African Republic as well as all men and women of good will to pray for the return of peace and security to our country and to open their hearts to dialogue and reconciliation,” he said.