Among almost a million people displaced from their homes through conflict in the Central African Republic are 9,000 people who have found refuge at a seminary in the capital, Bangui.
An “unbelievable number of children” are among these refugees at St Mark’s Major Seminary, said Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, in the United States.
“Everyone there has been traumatised. They have all witnessed atrocities,” he said, noting that the “generosity and kindness” of the Church authorities who keep the seminary’s gates open to those fleeing violence “serve as an example of how to react in a crisis.”
Bishop Pates, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, visited the conflict-ridden neighbours South Sudan and the Central African Republic from July 10 to 21.