News 21 Aug 2020

Mozambique: Pope Francis calls the Bishop of Pemba

Holy Father, Pope Francis calls the Bishop of Pemba:

On the 12th of August a major attack culminated in the capture of the port town Mocímboa da Praia by members of an Islamic State-affiliated group known locally as Al-Sunna wa Jama’a (ASWJ).

Below is a message by Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa, Bishop of Pemba.

Today, August 19, 2020, at 11:29, to my surprise and joy, I received a phone call from His Holiness Pope Francis who gave me great comfort. He said that he is very close to the Bishop and all the people of Cabo Delgado and is following the situation in our Province with great concern and has been praying for us. 

He also said that the bishop should tell him if there is anything else he can do. I thanked him very much for this gesture and for mentioning during the Urbi et Orbi blessing that he pronounced on Easter Day, April 12, the humanitarian crisis that the Province of Cabo Delgado is experiencing. I told him that after his mention of Cabo Delgado, there was much more interest from everyone (countries, dioceses from various parts of the world, religious congregations, international organizations, individuals) both from inside and outside of Mozambique, and that from then on Cabo Delgado returned to the map because it seemed that it was no longer there. He said: "Very good!" 

I spoke about the difficult situation of Mocímboa da Praia which is currently being taken over by the insurgents and that two religious of the Congregation of Saint Joseph de Chamberry, who work there, have been without contact with the Diocese for a week, to which the Pope responded: "How sad! He promised to pray for that intention too. 

The Holy Father said that he remembered very well his visit to Mozambique in 2019 and that he was already concerned about Cabo Delgado at that time. He asked that whatever we need, we can refer to Cardinal Czerny, of the Dicastery of Human and Integral Development. 
I assured him of our closeness to him, Pope Francis, and stated that we pray for him every day. Finally, he said that he is with us and encouraged us: Adelante!, which means Forward! Continue! To conclude our conversation, he sent his apostolic blessing to all the people of Cabo Delgado and Mozambique.


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