This was after a spiritual retreat that brought together the South Sudanese President, the opposition leader, Dr. Machar, and the widow of South Sudanese leader John Garang, Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, among other political and religious leaders from South Sudan.
Reflections during the retreat had focused on the national anthem of South Sudan under the guidance of Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Uganda’s Gulu Archdiocese, and Jesuit Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator who was at the helm of the Conference of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar.
In an interview with ACI Africa June 2, CEPO Executive Director said that the now postponed ecumenical visit was expected to have an impact on politicians as well as citizens in South Sudan to work toward lasting peace.
“The global spiritual leaders’ visit will motivate our political elites to offer a chance for peace to prevail through the implementation of R-ARCSS, Mr. Yakani said in reference to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.
He added, “Citizens are expecting the coming of the Holy Father as an end to violence because it will help our political leaders in making peace and stability realized.”
On June 12, Pope Francis said he is praying to reschedule the apostolic trip to DRC and the ecumenical visit to South Sudan “as soon as possible”.
In his remarks after his Angelus reflection for pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Holy Trinity, the Holy Father expressed optimism and asked the people of God to join him in praying for the realization of the two-African-nation pastoral visit. He apologized to authorities of the two African nations for having to postpone the six-day trip.
On June 13, the Holy Father reiterated his intention to reschedule his African trip.
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