The realization of the ecumenical visit to South Sudan is a demonstration of the concern the church has for the people of God in South Sudan, a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has told ACI Africa.
In a Tuesday, January 31 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Kizito Busobozi reflection on the February 3-5 visit that Pope Francis is undertaking alongside the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields.
“This visit of the Pope, together with the other personalities shows the church is determined to continue working for peace and the wellbeing of the people of South Sudan through evangelization by bringing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people,” Fr. Busobozi said.
He emphasized, “The Pope's visit means that the church’s top leadership loves the people of South Sudan and it respects them just as it respects other people of God in other parts of the world.”
“This visit could help the people of South Sudan to understand that the South Sudanese pain is the pain of the church, and their joy is the joy of the church,” he said, and added, “It means hope for the wellbeing of the people of South Sudan.”
The Holy Father is set to arrive in South Sudan on Friday, February 3 for the second leg of his two African nation trip ,which began in the capital of the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC), Kinshasa.
In the January 31 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Busobozi who highlighted some of the objectives of the visit, saying, “This visit is intended to call the attention of the people of South Sudan to work hard towards achieving lasting peace in the country.”
“The visit is also intended to draw the attention of the entire world to look into the predicament of South Sudan,” the Jesuit Priest said, and added, “Apart from the self-inflicted pains, the South Sudanese also suffer from natural Calamities such as floods, which have caused untold suffering.”
The Jesuit Provincial delegate for Sudan and South Sudan further said through the ecumenical visit, “the church is making a statement that it will not give up on the people of South Sudan.”
“Even if the church continues losing its workers such as Priests and Nuns to the conflicts of the country, it will continue to serve the people of South Sudan,” the Ugandan-born Catholic Priest said during the January 31 interview with ACI Africa.
He continued, “The trip will help the church do its prophetic work of pointing out the evils and injustices, and calling for correction of such ills regardless of the challenges the church faces in its mission in the country.”
Fr. Busobozi went on to call upon the people of God in South Sudan “to pray that the visit of the Pope may produce fruits that they may cooperate with the grace of God who is willing to take away the heart of hate, greed, violence, revenge and other evils.”
“If the people of South Sudan continue to harden their hearts towards the call of the Pope, certainly peace will never come to South Sudan,” he said, and added, “We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit that will influence the people of South Sudan to take the message of the Pope very seriously for lasting peace.”
He said, “I believe the vision of the Pope is a vision of a peaceful and free South Sudan, where people would no longer just live in their tribes but live as a united country.”
“All the people of South Sudan should keep in mind that what the pope desires them to do is to drop all their self-interest and work towards a united South Sudan,” the Jesuit Priest told ACI Africa January 31.