Blocked From Pope’s Synod By Ebola, Liberia’s Bishop Tells His Nation’s Story

“As Bishop of my people I carry within my heart their wounds and pains every moment of life here,” says Bishop Anthony Borwah

One bishop is absent from Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Synod of the Bishops on the family. He was invited, he wanted to come, his name is on the participant list, but he is not in Rome. He is some 4,000 miles away. And few—if any—people outside the synod hall even know he is not there.

His name is Bishop Anthony Borwah, 48, and he leads the Catholic Diocese of GBarnga in central Liberia, where Ebola is wreaking havoc. Tony, as he is called, learned he could not travel to the Synod in late August, when the Ivory Coast closed its borders due to the Ebola outbreak and restricted the one airline that could have taken him to Abidjan, where he needed to apply in person for a Schengen visa to travel to the European Union.

How are they celebrating the eucharist in west africa.

Sad, but it’s the right thing. The world needs to be protected from the disease. I am sure the bishop can find a way to get input to the synod.

Ivory Coast can close the border but U.S. government refuse to ban the flights from West Africa. That tells a lot.

Thank you,Gilliam. Reports like this bring me down to earth,you know.
I am so lost in irrelevant worries sometimes,that I feel ashamed of myself when I read what persons just like me or my children have to endure .My prayers for them, and for all.

I found this about Nigeria in particular,7 Sorrows.
If you google Eucharist - Ebola you may find different sources,and you can better judge the more reliable,I sometimes can’t .
God bless you.

Thank you graciew. I don’t know how many Catholics are in west africa, but if I lived there in the worst ebola stricken countries I would probably refrain from attending church all together.

It seems like the people in Africa suffer so much.

Probably so,though in this situation one might also need Mass so much…
Yes, there seems to be much suffering and it hurts when one reads all what they are going through.

It certainly does that even during times of crisis, the POTUS is unwilling to protect the citizens of this country.

I’m clueless about the synodal voting procedures. In a case like this, had the bishop been able to participate by reading the Relatio in it’s entirety, would it be possible for him to vote even electronically?

When is the Synod finished?

As ebola is wrecking havoc there, the people, this bishop says, are asking where is God? "How come we have once again become the abandoned and scum of the earth? Those dying are relatives and friends, this bishop says. “I carry within my heart their wounds and pains every moment of life here.”
The bishop has called all Catholics in his diocese to gather in prayer against ebola from 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. every day, through November 30. They say the rosary then most of that hour. Gathering then, they must follow strict medical rules–no touching, no shaking hands.


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