Pope calls on South Sudanese to reject “venom of hatred”, urges hope

Pope blesses South Sudanese President Kiir ahead of his departure. Photo: Vatican Media

Juba, February 5, 2023 (SSNA) — Pope Francis called on the people of South Sudan to reject what he described as “venom of hatred.” Pope made the call as he wrapped up his 3-day visit to the struggling young nation.

At an open-air mass on the grounds of Dr. John Garang’s mausoleum attended by 100,000 people, the Pope encouraged the people to never lose hope and reminded them that they are in the hearts of Christians around the world.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I return to Rome with you even closer to my heart,” he told them. “Never lose hope. And lose no opportunity to build peace. May hope and peace dwell among you. May hope and peace dwell in South Sudan!”, Pope says, adding, “You are in my heart, you are in our hearts, you are in the hearts of Christians around the world! Never lose hope. And lose no opportunity to build peace”.

The Vatican says Pope’s visit to South Sudan is the only in Christian history that leaders of Catholic, Anglican, and Reformed traditions conducted a joint foreign visit.

Pope left Juba for Rome today (Sunday) at about noon South Sudanese local time.

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