February 06, 2023

Pope Francis Calls for Peace in South Sudan

During the final day of his peace pilgrimage in South Sudan, Pope Francis called for people to reject the “venom of hatred” and “blind fury of violence”.

The 86-year-old pontiff addressed between 70 000 and 100 000 congregants in an open-air Mass at the country’s capital city, Juba, on Sunday, 5 February.

Francis called for an end to tribalism and corruption, before encouraging attendees to build “good human relationships as a way of curbing the corruption of evil, the disease of division, the filth of fraudulent business dealings and the plague of injustice.”

The historic visit was the Pope’s first trip to the world’s youngest country, which established its independence in 2011. However, the past 12 years have been difficult for the war-torn country, which is believed to have lost more than 400 000 people to civil unrest.

Two other Christian leaders – the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rev Iain Greenshields – joined Pope Francis on the African pilgrimage.

The visit also marked the first time that heads of the Catholic, Anglican and Reformed traditions embarked on a joint foreign trip together.

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