Pope Francis set to visit South Sudan and DRC in early February next year
AUTHOR: Daniel Garang Deng | PUBLISHED: December 1, 2022
Msger. Lonut Paul Strejac, Charge' d' Affairs of the Apostolic Nunciature (Holy See-Vatican Embassy) in South Sudan addressing the media on Thursday 1 Dec, 2022 (Photo by Daniel Garang Deng)
Pope Francis is set to visit South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in late January to early February 2023. The Vatican said, His Holiness together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland will start the Apostolic Journey to Democratic Republic Congo and proceed to South Sudan. The new date set for the pope Francis is schedule to arrived in Juba from 3rd – 5th of February 2023.
“Accepting the invitation of their heads of state and bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will make the announced Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 31st January to 3rd February 2023, visiting the city of Kinshasa and together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the church of Scotland, Ecumenical Pilgrimage of peace to Juba, South Sudan from 3-5 February next year.” Announced by Msger. Lonut Paul Strejac, Charge’ d’ Affairs of the Apostolic Nunciature (Holy See-Vatican Embassy) in South Sudan on Thursday.
His Holiness Pope Francis canceled his anticipated visit to Juba in early June on the advice of his doctors about his health status that put him on a wheelchair and promised reschedule to his trip to South Sudan and DRC.
Nevertheless, he revived his promise on Thursday to visit South Sudan and DRC and on wheelchair.
The minister of Presidential Affairs of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the government is prepared to host His Holiness Pope Francis.
“The government warmly welcome the announcement and the government will do all that they can to make a safe visit of His Holiness the Pope together with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Welby as well as the moderator general of the Presbyterian church of Scotland. Their visit is very much a great news for our people.” Said Dr. Marial
After the doctors called off the apostolic journey in June, pope sent Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State to Juba in July to convey his message of peace to the Government and people of South Sudan.
Following the announcement of reviewed visit of His Holiness to DRC and South Sudan on Thursday, the Primate of The Episcopal Church of South Sudan Justine Badi Arama called on the citizen to pray that the arranged visit come to pass as announced.
“With thanks to God, we the church in South Sudan wholeheartedly welcome the ecumenical visit of our holy fathers to South Sudan and we request all faithful in South Sudan and all the people of South Sudan to pray that this visit this time may be successful that the holy father and his colleagues step to the land of South Sudan and bring peace, blessing and additional encouragement for permanent peace in our Nation of South Sudan.” Badi said.