The next ecumenical visit scheduled for early February in South Sudan, which will see Pope Francis accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, could bring lasting peace to the world's youngest nation. Such is the hope of Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, representative of the Holy Father in South Sudan and Apostolic Nuncio in this country of central and eastern Africa, who describes the event as "a new chapter of hope and 'inspiration' for God's people in the country.
"A new path of hope will open for South Sudan as the Holy Father will come to give us courage and bring us the peace that we long for", said Archbishop van Megen in reference to the ecumenical visit scheduled for 3 to 5 February. "We must pray for this meeting which we have been waiting for so long and whose purpose is to bring help to the country," he said, urging the South Sudanese faithful.
The Apostolic Nuncio invited the whole population to take part in prayer in communion with these great leaders "because their messages will give us hope to overcome the challenges we are going through. The visit wants to confirm all the commitment and the will of the Catholic Church to bring and maintain peace in this place".
According to the program and itinerary published by the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis will make his previously postponed trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan from January 31 to February 5. The visit should start in Kinshasa and end in Juba.