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Pope Francis prepares to journey to strife-torn DRC and South Sudan

Pope Francis is about to journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan on the finish of the month. Each are nations torn and crippled by violence, division and the festering wounds of colonialism.

By Linda Bordoni

Answering questions put to him by reporters relating to insecurity within the two African nations Pope Francis is about to go to, the Director of the Holy See Press Workplace stated “there isn’t a particular menace” in both nation.

Matteo Bruni additionally affirmed that native authorities have put all safety measures in place to ensure the protection of everybody.

Bruni was talking throughout a pre-apostolic journey briefing on Tuesday morning throughout which he gave an in depth run-down of the Pope’s go to to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to South Sudan, a go to he had been compelled to postpone final July because of well being points.

He famous that the Holy Father will go to the DRC from January 31 to February 3 after which spend two days in South Sudan with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Common Meeting of the Church of Scotland on an ecumenical pilgrimage for peace earlier than returning to the Vatican.

fortieth apostolic go to overseas

This journey, Bruni added, shall be Pope Francis’ 40th apostolic go to overseas. At its conclusion, he could have visited 60 nations.

He goes to Congo within the footsteps of Pope St. John Paul II who visited the nation in 1980 and 1985. It was a really completely different nation again then, Bruni defined, a former Belgian colony referred to as Zaire. He additionally famous that the Polish Pope’s go to was the primary papal journey to the African continent since Pope St. Paul VI’s go to to Uganda in 1969.

So, he added, that is the 20th papal go to to Africa, the 4th for Pope Francis who went to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic in 2015, to Morocco in March 2019, and later to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius in the identical 12 months.

Africa, Bruni continued, is the place some 20% of the world’s Catholic stay, and that share is growing.

He hung out describing the vitality of the Catholic Church in Africa, the massive numbers of younger Catholics, and he highlighted how Pope Francis devoted a lot thought and prayers to Africa as witnessed by his messages, appeals and fixed consideration.

Modifications to the unique schedule

The Holy See Press Workplace Director defined that there have been modifications made to the Pope’s initially deliberate itinerary in DRC the place he was scheduled to go to Goma, in North Kivu, a very unstable area. As violence continues to ravage components of the province, that cease was scrapped.

“Not as a result of he was fearful for himself”, Bruni stated, however as a result of he needed to make certain that nobody could be vulnerable to assaults whereas gathering to see the Pope or celebrating Mass with him.

Pope Francis has lengthy desired to journey to predominantly Christian South Sudan however the unstable state of affairs within the nation had difficult plans for a go to.

Bruni recalled the religious retreat he hosted within the Vatican in April 2019 for South Sudanese leaders and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan, throughout which he knelt at their ft and begged them to present peace an opportunity and to be worthy fathers of the nation.

A faltering peace deal was signed on this planet’s youngest nation nation in 2018, placing an finish to a five-year civil conflict that killed 400,000 individuals. However political strife, poverty, ethnic enmity and local weather change proceed to devastate the people who find themselves reeling from starvation, violence and lack of governance.

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