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1st bishop to be ordained for Muslim Comoros

Catholic World News - June 04, 2010

The Comoros, a French-speaking Muslim nation of three islands in the Indian Ocean, will gain its first bishop on June 19, when Congolese-born Msgr. Charles Mahuza Yava is ordained. Pope Benedict on May 1 created an apostolic vicariate to provide pastoral care for the nation’s 6,000 Catholics, most of them immigrants and French nationals. Leading government officials, including the president and prime minister, will attend the ordination.

“Islam is the enforced state religion, which is why the Catholic Church cannot even ring the bells to announce the religious services,” Msgr. Yava told the Fides news agency. “However, we offer our witness of Christ's love for all humanity with our work of humanitarian assistance. In particular, the Catholic hospital on the island of Grand Comoros is greatly appreciated by the population, for its quality care and the service of the staff.”

“Ours is a silent but active presence that wishes to bear witness, through concrete works, that all of humanity is loved by Christ,” he added, noting that the Catholic hospital “is greatly appreciated by the population.”

“We have a Comorian who converted to Catholicism, taking the name of Jesus,” he said. “However, the choice has led him to expulsion from the family and exclusion from the inheritance.”

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