Unknown armed men have shot and wounded the Bishop-elect of South Sudan’s Rumbek Catholic Diocese. The Italian-born Fr. Christian Carlassare, a Comboni Missionary, was attacked on Sunday night in Rumbek.

The gunmen went to his residence, shot at his bedroom door till it opened, and when Fr. Carlassare came out, they shot him on both legs.

“In the night at around 1 am, some people came at my door, and they were trying to enter. They shot at my door. When the door was open, I came out and asked what they wanted and then they started shooting low at my legs,” Fr Carlassare narrated to the local media. The Bishop-elect has since been flown to Nairobi for treatment. “You pray for me and pray and pray for the people of Rumbek. We also forgive those that commit these kinds of actions. We do not carry any grudges,” Fr Carlassare said.

No one in South Sudan seems to know exactly the real motives of the shooters. Suffice it to say, ironically, things in South Sudan have slowly been looking up. Slow, but there has been some progress.

The Director of the Vatican’s Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed to Vatican News that Pope Francis was aware of the shooting and praying for Fr. Carlassare and the people of South Sudan.

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