|A Holy See Press Office statement says Pope Francis will be travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan on an Apostolic Journey in July.
The Holy See Press Office on Thursday announced that Pope Francis will be travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan in July, having accepted invitations from the relative Heads of States and Bishops.
Pope Francis will therefore be visiting Kinshasa and Goma in DRC from 2 to 5 July, before travelling to Juba, in South Sudan, from 5 to 7 July 2022
South Sudan is the world’s newest nation, having gained its independence in 2011. Since 2013 however the country has seen war and devastation as warring parties fight for power. President Salva Kiir and ex-rebel leader, Riek Machar, his former deputy, engaged in a power struggle that led to a civil war that left 400,000 people dead.
In 2018 the two sides signed a peace agreement, aimed at bringing the war to an end. However, since then, there has not been peace in South Sudan, as agreements and treaties continue to be broken.
Pope Francis has been tireless in pushing for peace in the world’s newest nation. In November 2017 Pope Francis celebrated a prayer for the peace in South Sudan and RDC, arranged by Solidarity with South Sudan and JPIC (Rome office), together to other catholic associations. In April 2019, He invited South Sudan’s leaders to the Vatican for an Easter summit, stunning onlookers when he knelt down and kissed their feet in a humble plea for peace.
From 21 to 23 December, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher was in Juba, to meet South Sudanese political and religious authorities ahead of a possible papal visit.
With the Holy Father’s visit now confirmed, Pope Francis will be the first Pope to travel to South Sudan.
Photo credits: L’Osservatore Romano
Prayer for the Peace in South Sudan and RDC (2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxbvVtqEH9Y&t=1267s
5 Mar 2022
Latest News, South Sudan, Solidarity, Pope Francis