Vatican City, 11 November, 2019 / 5:46 am (ACI Africa).
Three days after the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Vice-President designate Dr. Riek Machar agreed, at a meeting in Uganda, to delay the formation of a unity government by one hundred days, Pope Francis has led the Catholic faithful in praying for peace and reconciliation in the world’s youngest nation and expressed the hope to visit the country.
“I address a special thought to the dear people of South Sudan, whom I will have to visit this year,” Pope Francis said Sunday, November 10 during the Angelus at the Vatican, an expression that has been widely interpreted to mean that the Holy Father hopes to visit South Sudan in 2020.
“I invite you all to pray together for this country, for which I have a special affection,” Pope Francis said and led Catholics at the Vatican in praying a “Hail Mary” for the intention of peace and reconciliation in South Sudan.
In his Sunday Angelus address, the Holy Father recalled the Vatican spiritual retreat in April that brought together South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the country’s Vice-President designate, Dr. Riek Machar alongside other political leaders.
On the basis of the memory of the spiritual exercise, the Holy Father sought to renew his “invitation to all the actors in the national political process to seek what unites and to overcome what divides, in a true spirit of brotherhood.”