Nairobi, 08 October, 2019 / 11:00 am (ACI Africa).
At a time when ordinary South Sudanese are looking at their political leaders to form the long-awaited unity government in just over a month, the Nairobi-based Apostolic Nuncio to the world’s newest nation has called on the people of God in South Sudan to seek lasting peace through the virtues of mercy, forgiveness, and love as indicators of strength over and above justice, or worse, the tendency to revenge.
“Many times, we say peace is about justice, and of course peace is about justice, that everybody gets his own and proper thing, what pertains to him so to say,” Archbishop Bert van Megen told South Sudanese who gathered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi for Sunday worship, October 6.
“But I would like to add first and foremost that peace is about mercy, about forgiveness,” Archbishop van Megen told hundreds of South Sudanese residing in Kenya, among them priests, women and men religious, seminarians, and laity.
Belonging to a country where civil strife has been going on since December 2013 and emphasis on justice as a prerequisite for peace resounding in peacebuilding initiatives, the Apostolic Nuncio challenged South Sudanese to prioritize mercy and forgiveness over and above justice.
“If in a war, and all wars are the same, at the end of the war we have to do justice to each and every one and we have to punish each and every one, then the war in itself will continue and we hate and we will be punished, and we will hate and be hated,” the Holy See Diplomat explained.