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South Sudan: Br. Alois (Taizé), “people await Pope Francis”. His visit “would give great courage”

“People await the Pope, they await his visit. It would be of great encouragement to them. Indeed, they would feel recognized, they would feel that their cry has been heard”. Br. Alois, Prior of the Ecumenical Community of Taizé, said this in an interview with SIR news agency after he returned to France from the two-week trip he made with another Brother to Sudan and South Sudan. Pope Francis himself, during his visit to the Anglican Church of All Saints in Rome on 26 February this year, expressed the desire to visit South Sudan with Archbishop Justin Welby, Primate of the Anglican Church, the largest religious denomination in the country. A journey that, to date, has not yet been made official. “These people – the Prior explains – often have the impression that their cry of pain goes unheard and, if the Pope could go, his visit would give them great courage. They await him”.  “South Sudan – Br. Alois says – is experiencing a time of great difficulty, which is causing people to feel pessimistic. There is no more hope. The country is the victim of runaway inflation, wages are not paid for several months, and violence increases and spreads within each group, in a country that is flooded with weapons. But I could also see the presence of many NGOs and Churches which, together, make a huge contribution to the areas of education, solidarity, care for the sick, and assistance to the marginalised; their presence is a sign of hope”. The Prior of Taizé also says he was impressed by the courage and perseverance of women and the joy of children. Br. Alois will talk about his trip with the young people who will attend the meeting in Basel, Switzerland, at the end of the year. “These are experiences – he says – that make us abandon our certainties, our sense of superiority. We realize that we sometimes create false problems in Europe. When we look at the peoples of South Sudan, who really experience great difficulties, when we look them in the eyes, barriers fall, our hearts open, and we become more humane”.




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