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Charity Auction to Aid Sudanese Children

12/14/2005 7:56am

ROME, DEC. 13, 2005 ( Funds raised at this year's charity auction by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples will go to help children in troubled Sudan.

The Vatican dicastery's news agency Fides announced that the auction would be held this Wednesday at its premises at Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Items donated by benefactors will be auctioned.

Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, archbishop of Khartoum and president of the Sudanese bishops' conference, talked about the plight of the nation's youngsters.

"Children who have lost one or both parents are a major concern for the Catholic Church in Sudan," he said. "Civil war produced large numbers of orphans."

The 64-year-old cardinal added: "This is why we have intensified programs for children in education and health care. In Khartoum alone the Church runs schools for 40,000 children."

"Another problem is how to protect the family," Cardinal Wako continued. "Among the refugees there appeared practices such as polygamy, adultery and divorce and these are a threat to Christian marriage."

He added: "We asked war-trauma experts to come to give seminars to our educators, priests, religious and laity so we can help people suffering the scars of war."
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