“Don’t let hope be robbed of you! »
A video message of almost three minutes to express his » regret « for having had to postpone his apostolic visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to South Sudan, but also to ensure his » affection « the populations of the two countries. « As you know, I should have left today for a pilgrimage of peace and reconciliation in your lands », thus begins Pope Francis in a filmed speech, broadcast on Saturday July 2 by the Vatican.
“The Lord knows how great my regret is to have been forced to postpone this visit [initialement programmé jusqu’au jeudi 7 juillet, NDLR] longed for and longed for, he continues, tested since the beginning of May by knee pain which had also already forced him to postpone his visit planned for June in Lebanon. But let’s not lose faith and hope to meet again as soon as possible. In the meantime, I would like to tell you that I carry you more than ever in my heart, especially in these weeks”.
Pope Francis’ trip to Lebanon postponed
“I carry within me, in prayer, the sufferings that you have been experiencing for too long. I am thinking of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of the exploitation, violence and insecurity it endures, particularly in the east of the country, where armed clashes are
continue, causing countless and dramatic suffering, exacerbated by the indifference and complacency of many », he assures again.
“And I am thinking of South Sudan, of the cry for peace of its people who, exhausted by violence and poverty, are waiting for concrete facts from the process of national reconciliation to which I wish to contribute, not alone but in an ecumenical pilgrimage with my two dear brothers: the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland”, then says François. Dear Congolese and South Sudanese friends, words at this time are not enough to convey to you the closeness I would like to express to you and the affection I feel for you. I would like to say to you: do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope! »
« A Great Mission »
« You all have a great mission, starting with the political leaders: that of turning the page to open new paths of reconciliation and forgiveness, of peaceful coexistence, of developmentfinally concludes François in his message. It is a mission that must be assumed by looking together towards the future, towards the many young people who populate your lush and wounded lands, filling them with light and a future. […] For them, in particular, we must lay down our arms, overcome grudges, write new pages of fraternity”.
Friday, July 1, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, flew as the Pope’s representative for the DRC, the first leg of a trip that will conclude on July 8 after a visit to Sudan from South. In particular, during this trip, he will preside over two masses which will be held on Sunday July 3 in Kinshasa and Sunday July 7 in Juba, and will make, on the sidelines of the diplomatic aspect, visits to the displaced persons camp of Bentiu (northern South Sudan), and in a center for disabled children in Usratuna, north of Khartoum. Pope Francis should go to Canada from July 24 to 30.
Vatican confirms Pope Francis trip to Canada