Pope Francis wraps up South Sudan trip, urges end to ‘blind fury’ of violence

Pontiff wraps up Apostolic Journey to South Sudan & DRC

Pope Francis flew out of South Sudan on Sunday with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Church of Scotland Moderator Iain Greenshields after a joint visit by the three Christian leaders to the world’s newest country,

Archbishop Welby, Pope Francis, Salva Kiir and Rev. Dr Greenshields in Juba at Meeting with Authorities (AFP or licensors)

marking the conclusion of his 6-day Apostolic Journey to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“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.”

Those words of encouragement were the final public comments which Pope Francis spoke on South Sudanese soil at the end of his 40th Apostolic Journey abroad.

Over the past six days, Pope Francis has sought to bring a message of consolation and hope for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

He spoke forcefully and frequently about the need for every person to foster peace in their own lives and in their nations.

His first public words in DR Congo set the tone for the rest of his visit, as he spoke to the country’s civil authorities.

“This country, so immense and full of life, this diaphragm of Africa, struck by violence like a blow to the stomach, has seemed for some time to be gasping for breath.”

Though each speech was destined for a different audience, Pope Francis laced them together with an exhortation to cease all violence in the two nations, reinforcing his public words with gestures of closeness.

Pope Francis leaves South Sudan, bound for Rome

Huge crowds turned out for his public Masses: over a million people celebrated with him in DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and some 100,000 faithful gathered with him in Juba, around a fifth of the population of South Sudan’s capital.

Pope Francis has left a message of hope and a call for the people of South Sudan to remain together and strive toward peace.


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