“Continue spreading messages of peace”: Cardinal in Sudan ahead of Ecumenical Visit

Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako during the meeting with President Salva Kiir in Juba. Credit: Office of the President of South Sudan/Facebook

As Pope Francis begins the first leg of his previously postponed pastoral trip to two African nations that the Vatican confirmed on December 1, the people of God in South Sudan where he is set to arrive on Friday, February 3 have been urged to be proactive in spreading messages of peace, love and unity.

Addressing journalists after a meeting with the President Salva Kiir on Monday, January 30, Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako called on Christians in South Sudan to pray for the success of the imminent ecumenical visit that the Holy Father is to undertake alongside the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields.

“I am calling on Christians across the country to continue spreading the message of peace, love, and unity in communities ahead of this important visit,” Cardinal Zubeir said. 

The 81-year-old Archbishop emeritus of Sudan’s Khartoum Archdiocese added, “The spiritual leaders are coming to strengthen us in our faith so that we will continue this journey for peace by spreading the word of God as the Church as Children of God.”

“It’s very important for each and every one of us to be strong spiritually because the religious leaders are coming to strengthen us,” the Cardinal who retired as Archbishop of Khartoum Archdiocese in December 2016 further said. 


Pope Francis arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday, January 31, the first stop of his Apostolic journey to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. 

In his address to journalists January 30, Cardinal Zubeir said that the three church leaders “are coming to encourage us to be united and work together as brothers and sisters for the betterment of this nation.”

Also speaking after the meeting with President Kiir, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin of Juba Archdiocese said, “The Church will join hands with the government to receive the Pontiff and the two religious leaders.”

On his part, President Kiir expressed the government’s readiness to receive the three church leaders who are scheduled to be in the world’s youngest nation from Friday, February 3 to Sunday, February 5 for what the Vatican described as “Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Peace”.

“I am very happy for the preparation to receive the Holy Father,” the South Sudanese President was quoted as saying, and added, “The government is committed to supporting the program of this peace pilgrimage.”

More in Africa

The January 31- February 5 pastoral trip to DRC and South Sudan marks Pope Francis’ third visit to sub-Saharan Africa.

The Apostolic Journey is set to be the first-ever Papal visit to South Sudan and the third Papal trip to DRC, which is home to Africa's largest Catholic population.

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.