South Sudan Prepares for Pope Francis’ Visit

Sudan Sudan Prepares for Pope Francis Visit (News Central TV)

Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, the archbishop of Juba, declared on Wednesday that Pope Francis long-awaited visit to the country next month will inspire South Sudanese to struggle to bring peace to the entire nation.

According to Mulla, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in South Sudan, preparations for the visit by Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Church of Scotland General Assembly Moderator Iain Greenshields are well under way.

“On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of South Sudan and Sudan, we are ready to receive the Holy Father to South Sudan in Juba. We think that his coming will be enriching us all as a church but also as a nation,” said Mulla addressing reporters in Juba.

While the nation gets ready for the arrival of prominent religious leaders, Mulla urged the people of South Sudan to maintain peace.

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Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla

“This is a kind of an opportunity for us to get our minds together and to bring the people of South Sudan peace, reconciliation and love for one another. I think the Holy Father’s coming will enrich us in what I mentioned. And we pray that his visit will be successful,” he said.

Mulla described the papal visit scheduled for Feb. 3-5 as an ecumenical pilgrimage for peace, adding religious leaders in South Sudan are ready to welcome the pope.

“We have tried to divide the committees concerned with regards to the arrival and ecumenical prayers that will be held at the John Garang Mausoleum and other churches in Kator suburb, All Saints Cathedral and the Presbyterian Church,” Mulla added.

According to him, prayer sites have been set aside, and numerous preparations-related committees have visited the churches.

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In order to welcome Francis, Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok of Malakal Diocese in Upper Nile State urged South Sudanese to embrace peace.

“We call upon our people, the people of God in South Sudan to prepare themselves spiritually to receive the Holy Father and also to work hard so that this visit of the Holy Father together with the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury may be a point of transformation in our country,” he said.

Majwok stated that the visit might usher in a new era of peace, harmony, and reconciliation in South Sudan.

Mulla reported that Francis will meet with over 2,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from the cities of Bor, Malakal, Wau Bentiu, and Tombura in Freedom Hall in the South Sudanese capital.

During a two-day spiritual retreat at the Vatican in 2019, Francis kissed the feet of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar, pleading with the erstwhile adversaries to lay their political differences to rest and carry out the peace agreement.

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Francis had been expected to travel to South Sudan in July of last year, but the Vatican postponed the trip because of Francis’s health.

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