CAR Archbishop: 'I Am a Pastor Ready to Die for His Flock'

Central Africa Caritas President’s Life Threatened While Helping Displaced Villagers

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While assisting those displaced, the Archbishop of Bangui has been threatened with death.

According to Fides, a leader of the anti-Balaka militias threatened to kill Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, who also serves as president of Central Africa Caritas, when the archbishop was leading a mission to support the residents of the village of Gbangbou.

On September 21, a group of anti-Balaka militia’s set the villages homes on fire, burning down 275.

In recent years, the Central African Republic has been suffering from a civil war between the Seleka rebels and the anti-Balaka militias.

During the mission intended to help the village’s residents, the archbishop was interviewed by the local media and said he was outraged “to see human beings reduced to the state of animals because they have been wandering in the forest for two months with no assistance, no one intervenes to their aid, leaving these people to die.”

The Caritas mission brought medicine, food, and clothes to the displaced.

“I saw people regain their dignity. The girls were happy after wearing new clothes,” he said.

Archbishop Nzapalainga asked authorities to get more involved in this and other initiatives targeted at nearby villages.

While traveling along the Damara-Bouca road, when trying to retrieve a stolen motorcycle, the archbishop’s life was threated by a leader of the anti-Balaka.

On this encounter,  the Caritas president reflected, “Through this man, I see all the young Central Africans adrift, who need education.”

“I have nothing against him.”

“I am a Pastor who is ready to die for his flock.” concluded Arcbhishop Nzapalainga.

The archbishop has called on the anti-Balaka to lay down their weapons and help contribute to the reconstruction of their nation.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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