More than a year after Pope Francis visited South Sudan, the country is still plagued with high levels of violent crime and armed conflict between ethnic groups.
Members of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) have, in a collective statement, expressed their recommitment to fostering “the gospel nonviolence” in the East-Central African nation, pledging to have “a prophetic stance against violence and injustice”.
Earlier this month, Pope Francis became the first pope — indeed, the first Western leader — to visit South Sudan. Amid an enthusiastic welcome, more than 100,000 people attended his papal Mass Feb. 5 in the capital city of Juba, during which the pope made an impassioned plea for peace in the war-torn nation.
During the fraternal conversation that Pope Francis had with members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Juba, South Sudan, the Holy Father cautioned against “pagan culture”, which he said “has its own idols and gods” and that it has pervaded the world, the Jesuit-run journal, La Civiltà Cattolica reported Thursday, February 16.
Pope Francis addressed once again the question of whether he will resign the papacy in two conversations with Jesuit priests in Africa this month.
“We thought we were just going to go and see the pope. But actually it has turned in to something life-changing for all of us who have taken part in it,” Sr. Orla Treacy said.
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.
Before departing on his flight to Africa on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis met with a group of refugees and migrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan at the Vatican.
Pope Francis said Sunday he is concerned about recent deadly clashes in the northern part of South Sudan.
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.
Members of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) have, in a collective statement, urged the parties to the September 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) to commit to ensuring peace following the end of the transitional period.
South Sudan has political leaders lacking in humility, the Catholic Bishop of Wau Diocese in the East-Central African nation has said, regretting the fact that the lack of humble leaders does not move the country forward.
The pope released a video message in which he urged the Congolese and South Sudanese people to place their hope in God.
"In anticipation of our pilgrimage of peace this coming summer, we look forward to visiting your great country.”
The Bishop-elect for the Catholic Diocese of Yei in South Sudan, Mons. Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo, has called upon the people of God in the East-Central African nation to work together and be part of the Church that fosters “love and forgiveness”.
“There are no major risks” to Pope Francis’ safety in South Sudan, Bishop Christian Carlassare said.
On Monday, Pope Francis met the South Sudan bishop-elect whose consecration was postponed last year after he was shot in the legs shortly after his nomination to lead Rumbek diocese.
The shooting of the Bishop-elect for the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek in South Sudan last year was part of a plot to “scare him away” from the Episcopal See to which he had been appointed, and to have him abandon his mission in the Diocese, a suspect has told the High Court in Juba.
The Catholic Priest suspected to have been involved in the plans to shoot the Bishop-elect of South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese has denied the claims, saying he was “not party” to the plot.