Pope calls for peace in South Sudan Pope makes final bid for peace, forgiveness in South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan. — On his final day in South Sudan, Pope Francis made another appeal for peace in the country yesterday.

As he celebrated Mass yseterday in front of a congregation of thousands, Francis begged South Sudanese people to lay down their weapons and forgive one another.

In an address he said: “Even if our hearts bleed for the wrongs we have suffered, brothers and sisters, let us refuse, once and for all, to repay evil with evil and we will grow healthy within.

“Let us accept one another and love one another with sincerity and generosity, as God loves us. Let us cherish the good that we are, and not allow ourselves to be corrupted by evil!”

The Pontiff urged people in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, to lay down their weapons and forgive one another. The nation continues to be affected by the civil war which led to its independence in 2011.

“This country, so beautiful yet ravaged by violence, needs the light that each one of you has, or better, the light that each one of you is,” said Francis.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I pray that you will be salt that spreads, dissolves and seasons South Sudan with the fraternal taste (of the Gospel).”

President Salva Kiir, his longtime rival Riek Machar and other opposition groups signed a peace agreement in 2018, but the deal’s provisions, including the formation of a national unified army, remain largely unimplemented and fighting has continued to flare.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rt. Rev. Iain Greenshields, who joined Pope Francis in South Sudan and accompanied him on the flight back to Rome. — Africanews

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