Juba, South Sudan: Pope Francis has arrived in South Sudan, where he is embarking upon an ecumenical pilgrimage.
After bidding farewell to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pope Francis’ flight lands in Juba for his long-awaited “ecumenical pilgrimage” for peace to South Sudan with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields.
The Pope’s flight landed at Juba International Airport at 2:45 PM local time.
The plane had departed from the “Ndjili” International Airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital of Kinshasa at 10:39 AM local time, carrying the Holy Father and more than 70 journalists.
The Pope’s farewell to the Democratic Republic of Congo, marked the end of the first leg of his two-nation, 40th, Apostolic Journey abroad, and his fifth Journey to Africa.
Pope Francis visited the DRC from 31 January to 3 February, following in the footsteps of Pope St. John Paul II, who visited there in 1980 and 1985.
Much-desired ecumenical pilgrimage
The Pope will spend three days in South Sudan on an ecumenical pilgrimage for peace with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
For years, Pope Francis has expressed his strong desire to travel to predominantly-Christian South Sudan, but the unstable situation in the country, along with the pandemic, complicated plans for a visit.
In April 2019, the Pope hosted a spiritual retreat in the Vatican for the political leaders and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan.
At the retreat in the Casa Santa Marta, he knelt at their feet and begged them to work for peace and to be worthy fathers of their nation.
SOURCE: By Deborah Castellano Lubov – Vatican News