The Chairman of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), His Eminence Berhaneyesus Cardinal D. Souraphiel who is also the metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa Ethiopia has said that the Holy Father Pope Francis would be the first Pope to visit the Horn of Africa and Pray for the Horn of Africa if he can visit Addis Ababa as well by the time he will be going to South Sudan.
Speaking during AMECEA Workshop on Resource Mobilization for Key Pastoral Agents from the Region, which was held in Addis Ababa on 9th to 12th March, Cardinal Berhaneyesus said that a visit of the Holy Father to the Horn of Africa would indeed be a blessing.
“The Religious leaders of South Sudan under the umbrella of Council of Christian Churches went to see the Holy Father and invited him to come to visit South Sudan and he has accepted the Visit. When the visit will be we are not sure yet,” The Cardinal said adding that some if not all the AMECEA Bishops will definitely join the Holy Father during his visit to South Sudan.
Cardinal Berhaneyes wishes that the Holy Father who has been to Kenya, Uganda and Central Africa Republic would visit Ethiopia too.
“If the Holy Father comes for South Sudan, just to fly from Rome direct to Juba and back; well that can be done but if things are possible it will be good if he can visit Addis Ababa and speak to the African Union,” he said.
The Chairman of AMECEA said that the Holy Father can have a forum to speak to all the leaders of Africa as he has done already to all the European leaders, in the USA Congress, in South America as well as in Philippines.
“The Holy Father has been speaking to the leaders openly and it would be a blessing if he could speak to the African Nations through their leaders at the AU.”
According to News from Radio Vatican Pope Francis who spoke on Sunday February 26, during his visit to Rome’s All Saints Anglican Church in a question-and-answer session said that his staff is “studying the possibility” of a visit to South Sudan.
He said the reason was that “the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Catholic” bishops of South Sudan had come to ask him: “Please, come to South Sudan, even for a day, but don’t come alone, come with Justin Welby”, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Vatican Radio further quoted the Holy Father as saying, “We are looking at whether it is possible, or if the situation down there is too dangerous. But we have to do it, because they – the three [Christian communities] – together desire peace, and they are working together for peace.”
By Pamela Adinda