4 January 2013

Chad: Russo Allowed to Return and Guide His Diocese

N'djamena — Rt Rev Michele Russo, Bishop of Doba, can return to Chad and resume his apostolic ministry in his diocese. This was announced in a press release by the Ministry of Communication of Chad, confirming the news that had been circulating earlier in different environments.

The Bishop, a Comboni missionary in Chad for almost thirty years, had been ordered to leave the Country last October.

The reason for his expulsion dates back to criticism he expressed on the management of oil revenues through the diocesan radio station "La Voix du paysan", the first free radio of Central African Republic, which Bishop Russo entrusted to the Franciscans of the Immaculate in 2010, under the direction of Fr Clement Bonou.

For the Chadian government the turning point came during a sermon the bishop gave and translated into Gambay language and broadcasted via radio. The same broadcasting station, one of the few that is concerned about the integral development of the population, was suspended by the High Council.

"It is a misunderstanding created by the translation of my homily. The radio presenter peppered with idiomatic expressions of the local culture a well-known situation of injustice. It was not the first time that, with the same terms, dramatized this time from the clumsy translation, I denounced the state of affairs, driven by the reference to the Gospel and sensitive to the doctrine of the Church and to the needs of the flock of souls entrusted to me. This reveals, however, a real and disturbing intolerance towards ordinary people" said the bishop then.

According to information sent to Fides Agency by Fr Bruno, the religious and clergy present in Doba contributed to the maintenance of calm, despite a widespread feeling of strong indignation.

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