Pope to Visit South Sudan

Source: Catholic News Service

As violence continues in South Sudan, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis will visit the country in July.

According to an official close to Pope Francis, the pope hopes his visit will provide a much-needed boost for the millions that yearn for peace after decades of war and bloodshed.

Bishop Christian Carlassare of Diocese of Rumbek made international headlines last year following a failed assassination attempt. Bishop Carlassare expressed hope that an apostolic visit would reassure the country that the Christian churches are here to stay. During the attempted assassination, Bishop Carlassare, 44, was shot in his legs at his residence in Rumbek on April 26, 2021.

The Vatican announcement comes as the fulfillment of a pledge made by Pope Francis, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and moderators of the Church of Scotland who have been wanting to visit the country since 2016, but political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic forced multiple delays of the trip.

The pope will be joined by the suffragan Catholic archbishop and the Rev. Dr. Iain M Greenshields, who takes office as moderator of the Presbyterian church in May.

“I think the pope is coming here not just to see that peace is achieved but to ensure that the path to peace continues,” said Bishop Carlassare during an online meeting with journalists April 21.

“That is why it is necessary for the pope to come; to do everything to give a continuity to this call, to this invitation for peace. But above all, to bring that peace that is sought after by the politicians and give it to the people,” he said.

Currently, the pope’s visit is scheduled for July 5-7.

Source: Catholic News Service