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Cardinal Wako says Sudan’s leaders become sources of division

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December 25, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Archbishop of Khartoum, on Tuesday has lamented that political leaders become sources of divisions and hatred mistrust and violence, in his Christmas message.

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Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako
(30days)

“Our Political Leaders, our organs of Social Communications, our organized and security forces, which should create an atmosphere of trust, unity and dialogue among the people, often become sources of division, hatred, suspicion, mistrust and violence." The Cardinal said.

He also regretted that nothing being done for the promotion of the well-being and development of the people.

"There is weak effective response to the basic human needs of the “common” people, such as: food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right and the capacity to establish and raise a family, and today, more than ever and for many people, physical security for life."

He warned that no hope for peace without real brotherhood that transcends the boundaries of tribe, language, religion, region, ethnicity and social status.

"There can be no peace unless great effort is put into the promotion of the common good of all. Why can’t we put more effort into creating the family spirit of brotherhood than into preparing and training for war, and justifying unjust and discriminating ways of talking and acting, and picking up quarrels?"

(ST)

The following is the full text of his Christmas message :

Christmas Message – 2007

(Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako)

“Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Lk. 2:11)

The Word, the Son of God, became flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived among us. – That is how God in his infinite, faithful and great love fulfilled the plans and promises he made since the beginning for the salvation of the human race. “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16) God has covered the whole of our history. From the beginning he promised us salvation. In his faithful love he brought his promises to fulfillment through his only Son made man and born of the Virgin Mary, to dwell among us, as the faithful witness to that love, and who will bring everything to completion through our involvement “so that everyone who believes in him . . . may have eternal life”. (cf. Jn: 3:16). We ought to thank God for his loving plan, to rejoice now in its realization, to look forward in hope for its definitive fulfillment in eternal life.

Christmas is not a mere commemoration. It is the event of today as the good news that shall be for the whole people. It will continue to be “today” for all generations until the end of time and particularly for all who care to listen,. The Child is born today to open a door into the future, - a future in which he remains the Savior forever. This “today” holds our greatest hope, longing and desire: eternal life. From today into the eternal tomorrow the birth of Christ has left one word that draws all people to him: salvation in him. Hence it is not a unanimous salvation, but Salvation with a name and face, a Person. It is Jesus Christ. Who wills that his salvation should continue into the future, into eternity, with a name and a face, our names and faces. Indeed the Word of God by his becoming man, has united himself to each and every person. Jesus Christ has multiplied himself through and in us, if we are willing to cooperate with him. Our faith in him draws his power into us, the power that makes us children of God, “born not from human stock . . . but from God himself.” (cf. Jn. 1:3).

Throughout Advent we prayed: “Come, Lord, to save us.” At Christmas we hope in the loving response of our God to that prayer. Indeed we are aware of our sinfulness and many other God knows all this. That is why he sent us a Person, His only Son in our flesh and bones, to experience with us those very evils, except sin, in order to save us from within through his love, mercy, compassion and solidarity, which he communicates to us.

Christmas is a “new” beginning for us. God gives each of us a new name and identity: Children of God in Christ. Our society and world is now one family: the family of God in which all are children of God and as a consequence, brothers and sisters to one another. Our hope of salvation will be realized in our honest accepting and living as brothers and sisters. People who pray “Our Father . . .” declare that they are brothers and sisters – and ought to treat one another accordingly.

Brothers and Sisters, do you realize how much we are tempted to ignore this basic truth - the truth that we are brothers and sisters to one another? - Money and riches, power and pride . . . lead us to ignore the others and at times to treat them as enemies, to eliminate them, and to resort to violent confrontations. Brother kills brother. Brother robs brother. Brother hates brother. The security of membership in the family of God is endangered. Everyone lives in fear. Our Political Leaders, our organs of Social Communications, our organized and security forces, which should create an atmosphere of trust, unity and dialogue among the people, often become sources of division, hatred, suspicion, mistrust and violence. And how many high sounding speeches and declarations do nothing but justify the oppression of the poor, the marginalization of certain ethnic groups, the violence and cruelty of the strong, the further victimization of the victimized. –

We need also to be alert to the notion of development that is spreading in our country. Much effort has gone into various types of construction and other pompous projects. Relatively less importance, and in some areas, practically none, is given to the promotion of the well-being and development of the people as communities and individuals. There is weak effective response to the basic human needs of the “common” people, such as: food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right and the capacity to establish and raise a family, and today, more than ever and for many people, physical security for life. – The foreseeable consequence is division, marginalization of large sectors of our society, and increasing threat of violent confrontation between the social strata we have we are, perhaps unconsciously, building.- We are a country that still has much to do to restore and live real and lasting peace on its entire territory. – There is no hope of peace without real brotherhood that transcends the boundaries of tribe, language, religion, region, ethnicity and social status. There can be no peace unless great effort is put into the promotion of the common good of all. Why can’t we put more effort into creating the family spirit of brotherhood than into preparing and training for war, and justifying unjust and discriminating ways of talking and acting, and picking up quarrels?

The principle and practice of real brotherhood among all peoples is what Christmas demands of us and offers us as the “news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people” (Lk. 2:10)

Can we live true brotherhood? Christmas says: “Yes”. Because “Emmanuel” – God is with us. He continues to fill us with his love and it is through and in the power of that love that we can and must love one another as brothers and sisters.

May the greetings and wishes we exchange at Christmas help us to acknowledge one another as persons that deserve happiness, recognition, respect, peace and love: because we are all Children of one Father, and so, brothers and sisters to one another. That is the true spirit of Christmas. In that spirit and in order to consolidate it we need to make our Christmas wishes more personal. A mere “Happy Christmas” will not do. Make it real and personal. Say: “BROTHER, (or, SISTER,), Happy Christmas!” with emphasis on “Brother, or “Sister”.

May the light and grace of the new born Child shine on our faces as we make these wishes. May God our Father who has opened us the door into His own family, gather us together into one loving family.

May Mary the mother of Jesus and our mother intercede for us that the blessing of the Saviour she bore for us may change our hearts and inspire us to live in union with one another as He united himself with each one of us.

Happy Christmas to you all.

Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako

Archbishop of Khartoum

Christmas, 2007.

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