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Ethiopia: Diocesan Justice and Peace Coordinators urged to read the signs of the times and strengthen their work

RV25515 Articolo

Vatican Radio

The Justice and Peace Department of the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat on Thursday 11 May held a validation workshop for Diocesan Coordinators in Addis Ababa, as it wraps-up a five-year strategic plan with financial support from the Church agency Miserior. Speaking at the workshop, Fr. Hagos Hayish, Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat called on those working to promote peace and reconciliation to put Christ at the centre of their lives and their activities.

Below is a report by Makeda Yohannes
The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat Justice and Peace Department in its history of 22 years has been an active agent of peace and reconciliation throughout the country working through the Diocesan offices. The department’s active involvement with the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia in peace building is also one of its commendable achievements.
The department is its efforts for a continued success is finalizing a 5 years strategic plan with the financial support of Miserior and organized a validation work shop in Addis Ababa for Diocesan Justice and Peace Coordinator and other stakeholders on May 11, 2017.
Speaking at the workshop Fr. Hagos Hayish, C.M., ECS Secretary General, called on the coordinators as agents in the Catholic Church’s Ministry of peace and reconciliation to reflect more on the words on our Lord on the Gospel of Mark (4: 30 – 34) what we sow in the hearts of the people will have an effect on the long term outcome of our work. He added that working in peace building strictly requires putting Christ at the center.
“Working as agents of Peace and Reconciliation in the Church we must constantly search for courage and wisdom through the light of Christ, we need to pray and strengthen our own faith. It is only this way we can be strong enough to resist being shattered by the winds of the time in our lives. Through the wisdom God grants us we can recognize the realities of our times and serve the people accordingly. This is what distinguishes us from other social workers,” said Fr. Hagos, C.M.
The Secretary General also stressed on the importance of accountability saying “we need to learn how to become accountable to those at the bottom of the ladder like Our Lord Jesus Christ thought His disciples to be accountable to those least powerful.”
Fr. Hagos, C.M, also noted that people working in Peace building, Reconciliation and Justice must constantly update themselves with Church policies and civil laws in the country so that they can provide learned services to the people. He reminded that the Justice and Peace Coordinators that they are expected to influence and advise Catholic Church decision makers and asked that the Strategic Plan must consider a line of communication and advocacy with Church Hierarchy.
The participants of the workshop stressed on the importance of considering gender sensitivity, the current challenges of the youth such as moral degradation and other needs of the people that can be seen by reading the signs of the time. The validation workshop is followed by a 2 days training on Catholic Social Teachings and Peace Building to the Diocesan Justice and Peace Coordinators and ECS staff.


  1. First, I would like to express my respectful regards and best wishes to Fr. Hagos and the Ethiopian Catholic entity for its effort.

    Please permit me also to request the group to assist in the quest for justice for our beloved country, Ethiopia, with regard to the need for a Vatican apology to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with Fascist Italy which, as you are aware, had perpetrated huge war crimes in which one million Ethiopians were massacred of whom 30,000 were killed in only three days i.e. Feb. 12-14, 1937, as well as 2,000 churches, 525,000 homes and 14 million animals were destroyed. In addition, huge quantities of Ethiopian properties were looted by the Fascist Italians of which over 500 historic manuscripts are currently in the custody of the Vatican Library. As if all this crime were not enough, the Italian Government has established a mausoleum for “the butcher of Ethiopia”, Rodolfo Graziani at an Italian town called Affile in the presence of a Vatican representative in August, 2012. I’m pleased to state that the Lazio Provincial Council has decided to remove the mausoleum and taken the issue to court where the next appointment is scheduled for November 27, 2017.

    Zehabesha is kindly requested to post the letter of appeal that had been submitted to His Holiness Pope Francis I, to which we’re still awaiting His Holiness’ christian response.

    For further information, please check (www.globalallianceforethiopia.org) in which you’d find, inter alia, a news item dated Feb. 13, 1937, which presents the fact that Pope Pius XI had blessed the Italian monarch as “the king of Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia”. This and other available evidences prove beyond any doubt that the Vatican was completely complicit with Fascist Italy in the war crimes committed in Ethiopia.

    It’s, therefore, hoped that Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia would strive for the quest of achieving the justice required from the Italian Government and the Vatican.

  2. I have a question for Fr. Hagos.
    Accountability to God comes before accountability to those “at the bottom of the ladder.” I agree with you on sowing the Word of God [as cited in Mark 4]. But the Word of God is a double-edged sword [Hebrews 4:12]. How are Diocesan Coordinators to tackle massive corruption by Ethiopian rulers and killings and jailings of ordinary citizens by the same? Statement by “Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat Justice and Peace Department” sounds more like one from government “Peace and Security Institute” than from Scripture.

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