Papal committee withdraws pope’s visit to displaced persons

By Bida Elly David

The steering committee in charge of the papal trip to South Sudan has manifested that the Holy Father upon his arrival shall not undertake a comprehensive outreach to the Protection of Civilians sites (PoCs) due to his poor health condition.

Speaking to the media at the Bishop’s resident yesterday in Juba, Bishop Stephen Martin Ameyo the overall Chairperson of Papal committee said, the committee has instead estimated a total population of 2,000 internally displaced persons who shall be invited to meet the pope at the Freedom Hall in Juba.

He revealed that the Pope’s health condition is disturbing and unstable to the point that he could not access any outreach to any affected zone.

“Certainly, with the health of the Holy Father Pope Francis, it is not very easy for him to go to the Internally Displaced Persons camps we have here in Juba but we have an alternative. The alternative will be to call the IDPs to come in good numbers, we have estimated at least 2,000 to meet the holy father at the Freedom Hall,” he said.

Bishop Ameyo underscored that the selection would include displaced people from Bor, Malakal, Wau, Bentiu and Tombura including children and persons with disability.

Furthermore, Bishop Ameyo underscored that the security arrangement for the papal visit to South Sudan has already been accomplished by the concerned committee.

He pointed out that the church security committee has been backed up by the national security of the Country in conjunction with the government.

“The security will be coordinated between the church committees and the national security as well as other protocols and necessary measures to enable the papal message to reach the people,” he said.

Ameyo noted that the Catholic Radio Network (CRN) and other media channels shall play a bigger role to ensure that faithful who shall not come in person for the ecumenical mass will attend online without difficulties especially those in remote areas.  

The bishop said that the head committee is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the sub-committees to identify the challenges and other missing things.

Moreover Martin added that other denominations are also enthusiastic to join the Catholic Church in welcoming the Pope and the other delegation.

In his part, Stephen Nyodo the Bishop of Malakal diocese noted that the coming of the pope and the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury would be a point of transforming the Country towards peace through reconciliation.

“Let us hope that the coming of the Holy Father brings transformation of our Country into peace by reconciling on our differences. Our brothers from other denominations including our Muslim brothers shall be joining us for the pilgrimage as a sign of union in God,” he said.

He called on all the congregants to fully prepare for the reception of the Holy Father as well as ensure clashes across the Country are mitigated as a symbol of religious dignity.

However, the two clergies did not mention the strategies put to ensure that the IDPs are well set to meet the Holy Father.

Comments are closed.