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Pope Francis calls for an end to bloodshed in South Sudan

Pope Francis calls for an end to bloodshed in South Sudan
Country's leader Kiir says he hopes that their push for peace, reconciliation will be helped by Ecumenical pilgrimage to Republic of South Sudan by pope

By Benjamin Takpiny

JUBA, South Sudan (AA) - Pope Francis has urged the leaders of South Sudan to make a new start for peace and to avoid more bloodshed and violence in the country.

“In the name of God, the God in whom so many people of South Sudan believe, now is the time to say ‘no more of this:’ No more bloodshed, no more violence, no more leaving your people a thirst for peace. Leave the time of war behind and let a time of peace dawn!" Pope said, addressing the gathering at the Presidential Place in the capital Juba.

He said his visit to South Sudan is a pilgrim of reconciliation, with his two brothers the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

“We wish to offer you our heartfelt prayers and our support, so that South Sudan can experience reconciliation and a change of direction. May its vital course no longer be overwhelmed by the flood of violence, mired in the swamps of corruption and blocked by the inundation of poverty,”

He said all children of the African continent and across the world have the right to grow up holding in their hands notebooks and toys, not weapons and tools for labor.

“May it be for everyone an occasion to revive hope. Let each citizen understand that the time has come to stop being carried along by the tainted waters of hatred, tribalism, regionalism, and ethnic differences. It is time to sail together towards the future.”

“We undertook this ecumenical pilgrimage of peace after hearing the plea of an entire people that, with great dignity, weeps for the violence it endures, its persistent lack of security, its poverty, and the natural disasters that it has experienced,” the pope said.

He also said years of war and conflict seem never to end and, even recently, there have been bitter clashes, while the process of reconciliation seems stagnant and the promise of peace unfulfilled.

“May this protracted suffering not be in vain; may the patience and the sacrifices of the South Sudanese, this young, humble, and courageous people, challenge everyone and, like the seeds sown in the soil that give life to plants, allow peace to blossom and bear fruit.”

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit said he hopes that the visit of the pope and other two religious leaders will push them for peace and reconciliation.

“It’s my sincere hope that our push for peace and reconciliation will be helped by the Ecumenical pilgrimage to the Republic of South Sudan by Holy Father Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Dr. Iain Greenshields.”

“This historic visit of these prominent global Christian leaders must compel us to engage in deep thinking about our recent history, especially on how it relates to the noble task of peace consolidation and the important projects of reconciliation and forgiveness among our people.”

Pope Francis arrived in South Sudan on Friday from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, and thousands gathered to welcome him for his three-day visit, including Kiir.

source: News Feed
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