On Sunday, over 100,000 South Sudanese assisted Pope Francis’ mass for hope and peace at the John Garang mausoleum in Juba.
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"Hope is the word that I would like to leave to each of you, as a gift to share, as a seed that bears fruit," the Pope said, stressing the need to implement the 2018 peace agreements signed after the civil war in this country.
“African brothers and sisters suffer persecution and danger from conflict, exploitation, and poverty. Let us overcome the antipathies and aversions that have become chronic over time. Let us learn to put on wounds the salt of forgiveness, which burns but heals," he insisted.
"Hope, especially here, is found in the sign of women. For this reason, I would like to thank and especially bless all the women of the country,” the Pope stated and entrusted the path of reconciliation to Mother Mary.
In South Sudan, the Pope finished his 5-day tour around Africa. Initially scheduled for July 2022, the trip had to be postponed due to conditions suffered by the 86-year-old pontiff in his roundabout.
Prior to the Mass in South Sudan, Pope Francis delivered a speech to Congolese authorities in Kinshasa, where he denounced African countries’ economic dependence on its ancient metropolises.
"After political colonialism, an equally enslaving economic colonialism has been unleashed in Africa. In the face of this drama, the most economically advanced world usually closes its eyes. However, this country and this continent deserve to be respected and listened to," the Pope insisted.