At a Mass in South Sudan on Sunday, Pope Francis urged Christians in the war-torn African country to make “a decisive contribution to changing history” by refusing to repay evil with evil.
The ecumenical visit to South Sudan to be undertaken by Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, is awaiting the Holy See’s “official announcement”, the Archbishop of South Sudan’s only Metropolitan See has said.
Pope Francis is in contact with the head of the Anglican Communion and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in view of realizing their postponed ecumenical trip to South Sudan.
"In anticipation of our pilgrimage of peace this coming summer, we look forward to visiting your great country.”
The need for reconciliation in the world’s youngest nation where a government of national unity has recently been put in place was a key highlight of the Easter message of the Archbishop of the country’s only Metropolitan See, Juba Archdiocese. The South Sudanese Prelate described his country as “broken” and in need of “God’s intervention.”
Pope Francis’ reconfirmation of his earlier appointment of South Sudanese Bishop Stephen Ameyu as the new Archbishop of Juba was expected to put an end to the controversies around politics of succession in the only Metropolitan See of the world’s youngest nation.
After intense international pressure on political leaders in South Sudan including Pope Francis’ dramatic gesture of kissing the feet of President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, a unity government was formed Saturday, February 22, opening a new chapter that seems an answer to the prayers of many.
As the people of God in South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese await the decision of Pope Francis regarding his earlier transfer of Bishop Stephen Ameyu from Torit diocese to Juba, a Papal decision that was resisted by a section of clergy and laity, a South Sudanese lay faithful has, in a recent letter to ACI Africa, weighed in on the matter, highlighting issues he considers pertinent and making appeals to Church personnel to be obedient to the Vatican.
Shortly after Loreto Sisters established a Primary and Secondary school in the South Sudanese Diocese of Rumbek in 2010, bringing hope to thousands of children who used to walk for long distances in search of education, the Sisters identified a health gap among school-going children that needed their immediate attention.
With just over one week to the formation of a transitional government of national unity in South Sudan, a Catholic Bishop of Yei has called upon Christians to pray for peace during the ongoing negotiations between conflicting parties in the country.
The administration of a Catholic boarding secondary school for girls in South Sudan has pleaded with parents to present for enrollment only those girls that can stay in school for the entire four-year period of studies away from early marriages against the backdrop of increased demand for admission at the institution that has limited slots annually.
The Christian youth leadership in South Sudan has expressed its commitment to supporting the activities of Young Christian Students (YCS) in secondary schools and tertiary learning institutions countrywide in a manner that will enable members of the movement in the world’s youngest nation to participate actively in international forums.
A two-day forum bringing together members of the Ecumenical Network South Sudan (ENSS) in Juba has given hope to the revival of the religious entity that engages internal and external partners in view of advancing priority needs in the world’s youngest nation, Church officials at the meeting have told ACI Africa.
In a country with high levels of illiteracy, the provision of education by Catholic Church institutions is helping in guaranteeing a future of many young people amid challenges occasioned by the protracted civil conflict, ACI Africa has gathered.
Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS), a Catholic collaborative entity of religious congregations involved in capacity building in the world’s youngest nation through education, health, agriculture and pastoral programs, has expressed readiness to adopt the new education curriculum, commending the government for introducing a student-centered approach to learning, a method that allows learners a level of independence designed to foster their creativity.
The collaborative association comprising men and women religious institutes and members of the Unions of Superiors General (USG) in partnership with the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) known as Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS) is seeking to engage a new Rome-based personnel to facilitate the flow of information between the various religious orders and the officials in South Sudan capital, Juba.
Sanctions on South Sudanese political leaders in recent times are part of the process of ensuring peace in the world’s youngest nation, Catholic Church officials working under the Conference of Bishops have told ACI Africa in interviews.
With the countdown to the possible formation of South Sudan’s unity government into the last full month after the latest 100-day extension, a group of opposition leaders is currently in Rome for a meeting under the auspices of Sant’Egidio Catholic community, a lay Catholic association dedicated to the provision of social services and arbitrating conflicts, ACI Africa has confirmed.
The leadership of the Bari community in South Sudan has, in a letter, responded to critics who have termed members of the indigenous of Juba tribalists following letters signed by individuals belonging to the tribe, including some clergy of the Archdiocese of Juba, opposing the appointment of a non-Bari to head the Metropolitan see.
The December 17 announcement by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and Vice-President designate Dr. Riek Machar that they have agreed to form a unity government by the February deadline has been described as a “positive” move by two South Sudanese clerics who have spoken to ACI Africa correspondent in Juba, the capital of the world’s youngest nation.