Pope Francis’ representative has arrived in Juba on Tuesday, morning “in order to show Papal’s closeness to the beloved people of South Sudan.”
Pietro Parolin landed at Juba International Airport where he was received by government officials, religious leaders, and the citizens.
Pope Francis sent Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to Juba, after having postponed his Apostolic Journey to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo “due to intense knee pain and at the insistence of his doctors.”
In his remarks at the airport, Cardinal Parolin expressed his gratitude for the warm reception.
‘’I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of you starting from the representative of the president of the Republic of South Sudan, representative of the church, bishops, faithful and all the population of South Sudan,” he said.
The cardinal was welcomed with array of military and traditional activities. He inspected a guard of honor and observed Otuho, and Acholi traditional dances.
Senior Presidential Advisor, Kuol Manyang Juuk said the country is happy to receive Pope’s representative.
“South Sudan feels blessed right from the time his Holiness Pope Francis made a decision to come and visit South Sudan…Cardinal Pietro Parolin…will be received by the President today and the population of Juba and South Sudan is happy,” he exclaimed.
In early June this year, Pope Francis yet again cancelled his planned visit to South Sudan and DR Congo.
He made the announcement on June 13 while receiving participants in the General Chapter of the Missionaries of Africa in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican.
The Vatican Secretary of State will carry out the visit in the Pope’s stead until July 8, 2022.