He goes on to invite invites the people of God under his pastoral care to prepare for the “historical visit through prayer.”
“I invite the South Sudanese people and those of my Diocese of Tombura-Yambio to prepare for this special historical visit, mainly through prayer, so that when Pope Francis is among us, we may welcome him with joy and an open heart, and with unusual kindness,” Bishop Hiiboro says.
Many people are looking toward the Holy Father’s visit as a “good thing” despite the challenges they are facing, the Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Tombura-Yambio Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in June 2008 says.
“The interest is that so many people are taking this visit as a good thing. It shows that, despite the signs of instability, poverty, and continual violence, there is a search for meaning in the hearts of all,” he says in the May 20 report.
The mission of Pope Francis is “bringing people to him, and through him, to God,” the Catholic Bishop says.
The ecumenical trip, he says, “is a special moment for all of us to listen to and be inspired by his message, especially as he calls us to respect the true, human dignity of each person, particularly those who are poor, vulnerable, and marginalized.”
Bishop Hiiboro continues, “This visit is a moment of accountability for South Sudanese, hoping this action will inspire all South Sudanese to journey peacefully in mutual understanding, genuine respect, and true care for our common humanity.”
If realized, Pope Francis will become the first Pope to visit South Sudan, which became the world’s newest nation after gaining independence from the Republic of Sudan on 9 July 2011.
In the May 20 report, Bishop Hiiboro says that “Pope Francis’ trip to South Sudan is probably going to change the views of South Sudanese and also Catholics, Presbyterians, and Anglicans.”
“They will greatly reinforce the already living Ecumenical culture available,” he adds, making reference to the planned visit by Pope Francis alongside Archbishop Welby and Rev. Wallace.