Pope Francis restated hope to visit South Sudan

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[Juba, South Sudan TCT] - Pope Francis has renewed his hope of visiting South Sudan after he met a delegation of South Sudanese Heads of Churches in the Vatican last week In a trip organized by the South Sudan Council of Churches, the delegation of seven travelled to Vatican to meet the Pope and to update him about the civil war, famine and the humanitarian crisis that has stressed the stability of the world’s newest country.

Despite the crisis in the country, the churches have remained one of its few stable institutions with its leaders playing a central role of promoting togetherness and encouraging people to live in peace.

The Bishop Emeritus of Torit, Paride Taban, a member of the delegation, said they expect the Pope to visit the country with hope of praying to restore peace. .
“We expressed the position of the churches to the Pope regarding the situation our country is in and he assured us of his visit . to help our leaders work for peace” said Bishop Paride .

The delegations included Roman Catholic Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu, Uganda, who has been mediating peace efforts between the warring factions.
He noted that working together as Christians is more important than stressing the differences.

Archbishop John Baptist Odama also told Christians in Juba during the Palm Sunday that the Holy Father has renewed his hope to visit the East African country.

“During our meeting with the Pope, he [sent us with his greetings to] you all and expressed his willingness and desire to visit South Sudan,” said Odama.”

In February, the Pope designated a special day of prayer to pray for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Pope Francis is expected to visit Juba with the Archbishop of Canterbury but without mentioning when the visit will be.

Previously, the Pope had announced his willingness to visit South Sudan but the plan was cancelled due to security reasons. However the bishops claimed that the Vatican leader still has hope to go to South Sudan.


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