Cardinal Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, told the conference Sept. 24 that the world had made great progress in responding to HIV.
“We're supposed to show the face of Christ to people, but how can you do that if you take off when the going gets tough?” asked Dr. Tom Catena, a 54-year old physician from Amsterdam, New York.
The Nuba Mountains region in southern Sudan is a land the world has largely forgotten, except for the Catholic Church, which for more than three decades has stood with the people as they endured hunger, bombing and neglect.
After watching for years as newly independent South Sudan has succumbed to civil war fought largely along ethnic lines, displacing one-third of the population, church leaders in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan are working hard to ensure that their small enclave of liberated territory will not go the way of its neighbors to the south.
While tense relations between religious groups contribute to violence in many parts of the world today, Christians and Muslims in the war-ravaged Nuba Mountains of Sudan say they are getting along.
Bishop Gassis' visits came in the middle of decades of on-again, off-again fighting between the central government and several rebel movements in the South and other peripheral areas of the country.
Since civil war began to rip apart South Sudan's fragile democracy in 2013, roughly one-third of the country's 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes.
When Pope Francis visits Myanmar in late November, church leaders will be listening nervously to his every word, specifically hoping they don't hear the R-word: Rohingya.
Solidarity with South Sudan's farm has become a major teaching center, modeling agricultural techniques for farmers seeking more sustainable ways of producing food.