Papal visit brings more hope for peaceful S Sudan – Church leader

As Pope Francis is scheduled to visit South Sudan, the acting Regional Superior of Apostle of Jesus in Sudan and South Sudan has appealed to South Sudanese to have hope for peace amidst obstacles towards realization of the peace accord.

Pope Francis will arrive in Juba where he will be in the country till 5 February and depart that very day back to Rome.

He will be in accompany of Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

‘Our history has been a long history of struggle and difficulty but hope never fails. Hope is the force that will take] us to the future. And for us, as Christians, we are people of faith, hope, and love,” said Fr. John Loboka Morris told TRC in an interview.

Due to the violence, which erupted in December 2013, UN estimates that 72% of South Sudan’s population requires urgent humanitarian assistance in 2022.

Thousands of people are living in famine-like conditions, and undernutrition is at critical levels. There are over 2 million South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries.

Fr. Loboka stated that His Holiness has taken a very keen interest in the affairs of South Sudan and the current situation in which the people of South Sudan are living.

“Time and again, Pope Francis has always brought up the situation of South Sudan in his Angelou’s prayers in Rome. He has spoken about the situation in South Sudan and its desire for peace,” he continued.

Upon Pope Francis’ arrival in Juba, he will pay a courtesy visit to President Salva Kiir and his vice pesidents at the presidential palace. He will also meet representatives of the diplomatic corps and civil society.

On 4 February, Pope Francis will meet bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, and seminarians at the St. Theresa Cathedral.

That same day, he will meet some internally displaced persons at Freedom Hall and hold Ecumenical prayer at John Garang Mausoleum.

On 5 February, he will have a holy mass prayer at John Garang Mausoleum before his departure to Rome that same day.