Pope Francis “very much concerned about peace, reconciliation in South Sudan”: Secretary

Pietro Cardinal Parolin addressing journalists after his arrival in Juba on 5 July 2022. Credit: ACI Africa

The Vatican Secretary of State who is currently visiting South Sudan has said that Pope Francis is “very much concerned” about the progress of efforts towards lasting peace and reconciliation in the East-Central African nation.

Addressing Journalists at Juba International Airport when he arrived in the country Tuesday, July 5, Cardinal Pietro Parolin reconfirmed the desire of the Holy Father to realize his pastoral visit to the country and that he is praying for the people of God in the world’s youngest nation.

“The Holy Father is very much concerned about the peace and reconciliation in South Sudan,” Cardinal Parolin said, and added, “The Holy Father is willing to come to South Sudan to share with you the communion.”

Credit: ACI Africa

Pope Francis, the Vatican-based Cardinal said, “is also putting you the population of the Church and the government in prayers and assures you of his spiritual support.”


Cardinal Parolin said Pope Francis is also “following the good development that is taking place in South Sudan” with regard to peace in the country. 

He went on to share his appreciation to the people of God in South Sudan for receiving him warmly, saying, “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you starting from the representatives of the president, the bishops, faithful, and all the population of South Sudan.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“It’s a great joy for me to be with you to be able to stay for two days to meet people and celebrate on behalf of the Holy Father who could not come because of health reasons,” the 66-year-old Cardinal said.

Also addressing journalists during the July 5 press conference, South Sudanese Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, who received the Vatican Secretary of State on behalf of the government said, “The whole government and the population is very happy to receive Cardinal Parolin because they feel that South Sudan is blessed.”

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“Pope Francis will be coming to Juba that is why he sent his representative to visit the country ahead of his forthcoming trip,” Mr. Manyang Juuk added.

Credit: ACI Africa

On his agenda in Juba, Cardinal Parolin was to meet with the President of the Republic, Salva Kiir, and later meet with the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, before having a session with Catholic Bishops.

The Vatican Secretary of State is scheduled to visit Bentiu camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on Wednesday, July 6, where he is to celebrate Holy Mass before proceeding to meet UN representatives and the governor. 

On Thursday, July 7, the Vatican Secretary of State is expected to celebrate Holy Mass at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum, a memorial dedicated to the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and first vice president of Sudan following the 2005 peace agreement.


Credit: ACI Africa

He is also scheduled to bless the foundation stone of the new Apostolic Nunciature in Juba and meet with members of the Clergy and women and men Religious. 

The Vatican Secretary of State plans to visit the Catholic University of South Sudan (CUofSS) and the Usratuna rehabilitation center in Juba, a place where people belonging to different religions collaborate for the integration of disabled children and the training of their families. 

Cardinal Parolin is set to leave for Rome on Friday, July 8 afternoon.

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.