“I think of South Sudan and the plea for peace arising from its people who, weary of violence and poverty, await concrete results from the process of national reconciliation,” Pope Francis says.
He adds, “I would like to contribute to that process, not alone, but by making an ecumenical pilgrimage together with two dear brothers, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.”
The Holy Father goes on to urge the people of God in DRC and South Sudan to be part of the peace processes for progress in their respective countries in a mission that needs to be undertaken in togetherness.
He says, “You have a great mission, all of you, beginning with your political leaders: it is that of turning a page in order to blaze new trails, new paths of reconciliation and forgiveness, of serene coexistence and of development. It is a mission that you must take up together.”
The mission that the Congolese and South Sudanese political leaders have to spearhead, the Pope says, “entails looking to the future, looking to the many young people in your lands, so rich in promise and yet so troubled, in order to offer them a brighter future.”
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“The young dream and they deserve to see those dreams come true, to see days of peace. For their sake, above all, it is necessary to lay down arms, to overcome all resentment, and to write new pages of fraternity,” he adds.
Pope Francis also reminds the people of God in South Sudan and DRC that the tears they lift to Heaven “are not in vain”, since God has plans of peace for them.
“The consolation of God will come, because he has plans of peace and not of woe,” he says, adding, “Even now, as I look forward to meeting you, I ask that God’s peace fill your hearts.”
“As I await the opportunity to see your faces, to feel at home in your lively Christian communities, to embrace all of you with my presence and to bless your lands, my prayers and my affection for you and your peoples, become all the more intense,” Pope Francis says in his July 2 video message.
He concludes, “I send you my heartfelt blessing and I ask all of you, please, to continue to pray for me. Thank you and… see you soon.”
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.