AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - The Christian community awaits the visit of Pope Francis to relaunch reconciliation

Thursday, 21 November 2019


Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "I believe that the visit of Pope Francis to South Sudan will be a joint mission, a joint visit together with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland", says to Agenzia Fides, Mgr. Edwardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura Yambo, after the announcement that Pope Francis made regarding his desire to travel to South Sudan in 2020.
According to Bishop Hiiboro, who until October was President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of South Sudan, the visit of Pope Francis and other Christian leaders will be "a special occasion because it will bring together all the Christian communities in the Country".
"In April, Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the leader of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, met with our political leaders in the Vatican and promised to accompany the people of South Sudan until the nation achieved a lasting peace. The Holy Father has repeatedly expressed his desire to come to our country - highlights the Bishop - and this means that he really wants it. To welcome this desire, as a local Church and as a Country, we need an inclusive Church of the entire AMECEA region (which includes East Africa)", notes Mgr. Hiiboro.
On behalf of the Catholic Church in South Sudan, the Bishop thanked Pope Francis for being "father, pastor, leader and Vicar of Christ and being so close to the people of South Sudan. Our people have dispersed in conflicts, in the world of war, of division, of poverty".
At the end of the Angelus on 10 November 2019, Pope Francis expressed his desire to visit South Sudan. The date has not yet been defined. Francis, in his appeal for reconciliation, invited everyone to pray together with these words: "The South Sudanese people have suffered too much in recent years and look forward with great hope to a better future, especially the definitive end of conflicts and lasting peace", said Pope Bergoglio. "I therefore urge those responsible to continue, tirelessly, with their commitment to an inclusive dialogue in the search for consensus for the good of the nation", he concluded. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 21/11/2019)