Vatican Secretary of state arrives Juba for Papal mission

The Vatican Secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin making a speech at Juba International Airport after touch down (L). Photo: Adia Jildo

By Adia Jildo

The Vatican Secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin has arrived in Juba this morning paying his ecumenical visit following the failure of Pope Francis to visit South Sudan and The Democratic Republic of Congo due to health concerns.

Cardinal Pietro met the President H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday (Tuesday) and on Wednesday (today) to visit Bentiu IDP camp as well as holding a mass on Thursday at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum.

“It’s a great joy to be with you and to be able to stay for a few days to celebrate, to lead people and to pray, to meet people on behave of Pope Francis,” he said when addressing the Media after touch down at Juba International Airport.

Pietro expressed hope over the coming of Pope Francis to South Sudan though no date was specified as to when it will happen.

“We are very much into communal with the holy father up to this day. He is concern with the reconciliation and peace of South Sudan. He is following the good developments that are taking place with the population of the church, authority for this spiritual support,” he said.

The special advisor of the President Kuol Manyang said the visit of the Vatican Secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin is to see the preparation ahead of his holiness’ visit.

“Pope Francis will be coming. That’s why he has sent ahead his representative and the Secretary of State of Vatican to come to Juba and see the preparation that’s being made for the coming of his holiness,” he assured.

He added that the visit is a sign to the coming of peace in the country.

“We know his holiness Pope Francis when he met our leaders in Vatican; he had to kneel down and kiss their feet, praying for peace and pleading to them to make peace for the people of South Sudan” said Kuol.

Pietro will on Friday hold a mass at St. Paul Major Seminary and later visit Usratuna and the Catholic University before his departure.

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