President Kiir welcome Pope at Presidential Palace in Juba
AUTHOR: Staff Writer | PUBLISHED: February 3, 2023
President Kiir shaking hands with His Holiness Pope Francis at Palace. Credit - Office of the President
President Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan received His Holiness Pope Francis in Juba at his Palace shortly after he touched down at Juba International Airport JIA. His Holiness Pope Francis start the three days of an ecumenical peace pilgrimage along with two other religious leaders, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Moderator the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
It is the first time for the three religious leaders to merge in one place to start an ecumenical peace pilgrimage to the Republic of South Sudan. Pope Francis will meet President and be followed by a series of events and prayers meeting vices presidents, government officials and religious leaders, and members of civil society.
He departed the Ndjili International Airport in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, at 10:49 AM Central African Time. According to the Vatican news, he arrived in JIA at 2:45 local time.
The Pope will spend three days in South Sudan on an ecumenical pilgrimage for peace with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
For years, Pope Francis has expressed his strong desire to travel to predominantly-Christian South Sudan, but the unstable situation in the country, along with the pandemic, complicated plans for a visit.
In April 2019, the Pope hosted a spiritual retreat in the Vatican for the political leaders and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan.
At the Casa Santa Marta retreat, he knelt at their feet and begged them to work for peace and be worthy fathers of their nation.