|Preparations toward the ecumenical visit to South Sudan “will continue” despite the decision to postpone the three-day event that was scheduled for July 5-7, the Archbishop of Juba has said.
Addressing journalists June 10, the day Matteo Bruni, the Holy See Press Office Director, announced the postponement “with regret” of the Holy Father’s third trip to Africa, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu said the Holy Father is still determined to visit South Sudan.
“We will continue with the activities that have been planned like meetings and other preparations,” Archbishop Ameyu told journalists about the postponed trip that the Holy Father was to undertake alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace.
He added, “This announcement cannot stop us from preparing because the Holy Father is postponing his visit to South Sudan, not canceling it.”
“The planned ecumenical prayer of this month will continue without any problem,” the South Sudanese Archbishop further said, making reference to a prayer initiative, which church leaders in South Sudan have organized.
In a May 28 Interview with Radio Bakhita, the Local Ordinary of Juba Archdiocese who doubles as the Apostolic Administrator of Torit Diocese said, “There will be reconciliation prayer so that all of us are reconciled before the Holy Father comes.”
“Before the coming of Pope Francis this prayer will include all the churches and believers even Muslims for reconciliation that will be in June,” he said about the ecumenical prayer session that is to take place at John Garang Mausoleum in Juba.
Announcing the postponement of Pope Francis’ two-African-nation pastoral trip that had been unveiled last month, Mr. Bruni indicated that the decision was “at the request of his doctors”, and that it would take place at “a later date to be determined”.
He explained in his June 10 statement, “At the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has been forced to postpone, with regret, his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to South Sudan.”
Addressing journalists in Juba on June 10 after the news of the postponement was made public, Archbishop Ameyu said, “Let us have the attitude of accepting the situation”.
“When there is a health problem, things are always postponed and we are optimistic that he will come when his health has improved,” he said.
Responding to a journalist who wanted to know when the Holy Father was likely to travel, the Archbishop said, “Let us not speak about the timeline when the Pope will come because we know that his health condition was the reason for the delayed journey.”
He urged the people of God in the East-Central African nation “not to get discouraged because the postponement was due to the Pope’s health problem.”
“He was ready to come but the doctors advised him not to come because his situation will worsen, but he was determined to come,” Archbishop Ameyu emphasized during the June 10 press conference
Credits to: Aci Africa NEWS
17 June 2022
Claudia, Office Manager
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