26th September 2023
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Pope Francis to visit South Sudan in Feb 2023

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Saturday, September 17, 2022

Pope Francis looks on during an exclusive interview with Reuters, at the Vatican, July 2, 2022. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis has rescheduled his long anticipated South Sudan visit to February 2023, said Office of the First Vice President on Friday.

In a press statement, Dr. Riek Machar’s office established that the Apostolic Nunciature in South Sudan His Grace Ionut Paul Strejac said Francis plans to visit Juba in five-month time.

Paul also said in a short video clip that he was sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin to bring a letter to Machar and to communicate a message from Pope Francis.

“I was very pleased to meet the first vice president in order to bring him a letter from Cardinal Parolin following his visit in July and also a present from the cardinal and the holy father,” said Paul in the video posted on the official page of the First Vice President.

“And also to talk about the situation and the development in the country and looking forward to stability and unity of this country.”

However, the Vatican diplomat was not heard mentioning the scheduled visit of the Pope.

But Machar’s office said in a press statement that “the Vatican representative of the Pope further revealed that His Holiness, Pope Francis, plans to visit South Sudan in February, 2023.”

The statement also said that Paul presented a gift in form of a book which contains a message of peace and reconciliation.

Pope Francis, 85, has of recent struggled with a knee ailment, despite having visited Canada in August, and Kazakhstan four days ago.

The Argentinian had planned to visit the war torn Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan on the 2nd to 7th of July, before abruptly postponing the trip.

Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, announced the postponement of the Apostolic Journey, and a clergy in Juba said he was shocked by the sudden postponement of the Papal visit after ‘the church has gone far with the preparations.’

Later on, the Pontiff apologized to the authorities in Juba and Kinshasa for having to postpone his Apostolic visit, due to his knee and leg-related problems.


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