In support of the 17 victims of massacres perpetrated in DON village in the province of Logone Oriental, 500 km south of N’Djamena, the diocese of the capital places the day of Friday, May 19, 2023 under a time of prayer and meditation.
Abbé Madou, parish priest of the “Blessed Isidore Bakanja of Walia Goré” parish, opened the doors of his place of worship to us, located at the southern exit of N’Djamena on the other side of the Chari river bank. He accepted to answer our questions by explaining to us concretely what the Catholic Church of Chad, in this case that of the diocese of N’Djamena, decided to do this Friday. Here is the substance of our interview with this young priest.
Interview by Veïvra NOEL
Metropolitan Archbishop Edmond Djitangar circulated a press release in all the parishes of his diocese inviting the faithful of his apostolic circumscription to observe a day of mourning, meditation, fundraising… to witness the solidarity of his church in favor of that of the diocese of Goré where the horrible acts were orchestrated. Could you tell us a bit more?
Father MADOU: Chad, in recent years, suffered atrocities perpetrated (farmer and herder conflicts) here and there. The recent Mounts of Lam killings in the department of Goré are the straw that broke the camel’s back. The transition regime by sowing desolation shows that it has totally failed. It is unacceptable for one part of the population to be armed against another. Transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno instrumentalizes Chad. For this regime, Chad is only an instrument that must be used to destroy the populations without remorse. To show our solidarity to the savagely murdered compatriots and ChristiansBishop Edmond Djitangar invites the faithful of his diocese to observe mourning, a time of prayer, fasting and meditation this Friday, May 19, 2023. This day will be sequenced as follows in my parish: first, we implore the intercession of the Saints (Blessed Virgin Fatima, Saint John Paul II, Saint Theresa of Calcutta, Monsignor Matthias Ngarteri and the Patron Saint of our parish Saint Isidore Bakanja). There will be the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the rosary followed by the Chadian Way of the Cross. This meditation will end with Mass with candles lit in memory of all the people cowardly murdered by the transition regime. This day, I personally place it under the theme: “ Catholic Friday for a fraternal and peaceful Chad ».
Why is this day of fasting, prayer and fundraising in solidarity with the Catholic Church of Goré not going to happen nationally?
Father MADOU: The Catholic Church is a hierarchy. I don’t have the power to answer you. Only the bishop can give you an answer. Do not wait for others to help a person in danger before acting. It is urgent and we must act very quickly. Reason why Archbishop Edmond Djitangar does not expect there to be an episcopal outburst before intervening. However, be aware that there will be a meeting of bishops around this evil which gangrenes Chad and especially the southerners with a Christian majority.
In the land of Toumaï, agriculture and livestock are at war
Do you believe that by expressing your sorrows, your sufferings, your lamentations, your tears, etc. in this way, the current regime of transition can hear you and try to stop this bloodbath on the whole of the Chadian territory?
Father MADOU: Whether the President of the transition and all those who support him listen to us or not, we have a Supreme Being who hears our pleas. That our executioners are armed to the teeth with guns and weapons of all kinds, we (especially Christians) have prayer as a weapon of combat. We are convinced that by praying fervently we can change everything!
The Way of the Cross of Jesus Christ was not limited to Golgotha (Place of the skulls), Christ crossed the whole city being loaded with a heavy beam. To express your rage, why is this diocesan or rather Chadian Stations of the Cross not done from a given parish to the Place de la Nation or the Cathedral?
Father MADOU: This Stations of the Cross will take place in all the parishes of the diocese. There is no question of expressing anger in this circumstance. We are not angry. We are in mourning, in meditation and above all in times of prayer. It should also be noted that the Catholic Church is not a place for entertainment or folklore. ” When you pray, enter your room, close your door and pray to your Father ». (Mt 6.6).
If after so many years of prayer in the name of national unity, Muslims, Catholics and Protestants meet in November to pray but the North-South divide (Muslim-Christian) takes on disproportionate proportions, can we still speak of peace in a confessional, community or identity withdrawal? The evils that paralyze socio-politico-economic development in the country of Toumaï have injustice as a common denominator.