In fact, Pope Francis should have started his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan this Saturday. Health thwarted him; had to postpone the flight indefinitely. In the video, the church leader assures the local people that they are close to them “more than ever.” The Pope also calls again for peace and reconciliation.
Stefanie Stahlhofen – Vatican
“Dear friends of Congo and South Sudan, Words are not enough at the moment to express the closeness I want to convey to you and the feeling I have for you. I want to tell you: don’t let your hope be stolen! Don’t let hope rob you! Remember that you who are so dear to me are even more valuable and loved in the eyes of God who never disappoints those who hope in Him! ” Pope Francis tells the people of Congo and South Sudan his nearly 4-minute video message the Vatican released this Saturday.
More specifically, the Pope also addresses the plight of the local population:
“In prayer I bear within me the suffering that you have endured for a long, too long time. I am referring to the DRC, the exploitation, violence and insecurity it is experiencing, especially in the east of the country, where armed conflicts continue and cause untold, dramatic suffering due to the indifference and opportunism of so many. worse. And I think of South Sudan, the cry of its people for peace, a people exhausted by violence and poverty, waiting for concrete results in the process of national reconciliation, to which I do not want to contribute alone, but by joining two dear brothers to make an ecumenical pilgrimage: with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Moderator of the General Council of the Church of Scotland ”.
Put the gun down
When Pope Francis can catch up, this journey is still open. He used his video message from this Saturday to summon peace in Congo and South Sudan:
“You all have a great task, beginning with political leaders: you must open a new chapter, open new paths, paths of reconciliation, paths of forgiveness, paths of peaceful coexistence and development. This is a task we must undertake, looking together to the future and to the many young people who inhabit your fertile and wounded lands, filling them with light and a future. They dream and deserve that these dreams come true, that there are days of peace: it is for them that we must lay down our arms, overcome resentments and start a new chapter in brotherhood. “
Pope Francis should have started his 37th Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan this Saturday, which will take place from 2-7am. It was planned for July. Had to be postponed indefinitely due to knee problems with an 85-year-old church leader. In his video message, the Pope repeats how much it hurts him:
“As you know, I should have made a pilgrimage of peace and reconciliation to your countries today. You know how sorry I am to have been forced to postpone this long-awaited visit. But we don’t want to lose faith and keep hoping that we will meet as soon as possible. In the meantime, I want to tell you that, especially in these weeks, I have you in my heart more than ever. “
An alternative date for the trip to Africa has not yet been determined; however, this Sunday, Francis wants to celebrate Mass with the Congolese community in Rome. In addition, the Pope recently sent Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to Congo and South Sudan.