“It’s time for responsibility, concrete action”: Vatican Cardinal to S. Sudan Authorities

Pietro Cardinal Parolin with some Church leaders in South Sudan at the July 5 audience with President Salva Kiir. Credit: Office of the President - Republic of South Sudan/Facebook

The Vatican Secretary of State who has been visiting South Sudan has told authorities in the East-Central African nation to take “concrete actions” to bring lasting peace.

In his homily during Holy Mass at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum on Thursday, July 7, Pietro Cardinal Parolin cautioned against hatred, injustice, and violence.

“Now it’s the time of responsibility and concrete actions. It’s the time to turn down the world of hatred, to break the yoke of every injustice in the country soaked by blood and violence,” Cardinal Parolin said. 

He added, “It’s time to lift our gaze once more to heaven to God the father of mercy who makes sun rise on the evil and the good and send rain on the righteous, and the unrighteous.”

“It’s time to repent from our hearts, and to implore the gift of reconciliation,” the Vatican-based Cardinal said, and continued, “It’s time to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of unity and peace to embody the Christian differences.” 


He further said, “It is not only the decision we make, first and foremost it’s a grace, the gift of God to be sought insistently only if we are embraced by his love.”

“No more violence, never again for conflict and violence,” 66-year-old Cardinal said, and posed, “Can we embrace one another and make rise up from the new cry?”

The Vatican official said,Time has come for the prophecy of Isaiah to be fulfilled in this country. It’s time to struggle against the shadow of evil and to journey towards the light”. 

“Now it’s the time when God hears the cries of the oppressed, the people who are artisan of the new future,” Cardinal Parolin said, adding, “We know that it is not easy to set out this road on our own.”

The Vatican Secretary of State went on to implore during the July 7 Eucharistic celebration, “Let us pray in this Holy Mass which we rightly celebrate for peace and justice that God may grant us the gift of reconciliation and concord.”

More in Africa

“May the Lord touch the heart of all particularly those who hold positions of authority and greater responsibility so that they will be able to end the suffering caused by violence and instability so that the process of peace and reconciliation may move rapidly forward with concrete and effective actions,” he implored. 

On his part, President Salva Kiir has assured the Vatican Secretary of State of working toward lasting peace in the East-Central African nation.

“I want to stick to my word that I will never take this country back to war again,” President Kiir said, and added, “In South Sudan we have no religious differences because in South Sudan you can find a Christian that has relatives from Muslim which has brought us together.”

“I want you to take the message to the Holy Father that South Sudanese leaders who came to the Vatican are now living together harmoniously,” the South Sudanese President said. 

President Kiir further said, “If the Holy Father asks you about the implementation of the peace agreement, tell him that the agreement is being implemented but with difficulties.” 


On July 5, the Vatican Secretary told authorities in the East-Central African nation that the only necessary fight should be the one toward “peace and development.”

On his agenda in Juba, the Vatican Secretary of State is expected, on Friday, July 8, to bless the foundation stone of the new Apostolic Nunciature in Juba.

Cardinal Parolin is scheduled to visit the Catholic University of South Sudan (CUofSS) as well as the Usratuna rehabilitation center in Juba, a place where people belonging to different religions collaborate for the integration of disabled children and the training of their families.  

Cardinal Parolin is set to leave for Rome on Friday, July 8 afternoon.