A spokesman for Archbishop Welby told AI they were looking at the logistics of a joint pastoral visit to Africa’s newest nation
The Archbishop of Canterbury is considering undertaking a joint pastoral visitation with Pope Francis to South Sudan, sources at Lambeth Palace tell Anglican.Ink. During a Q&A session following evensong at All Saints Anglican Church on the Via del Babuino, near the Spanish Steps, in Rome, on 26 Feb 2017, Pope Francis, speaking in Italian, said: “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 [churches] – together desire peace, and they are working together for peace,” the pope said. The announcement follows almost a year after a papal audience at the Vatican on 27 October 2016 with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Juba, Mgr. Paulino Lukudu Loro, the Anglican Primate of South Sudan, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng, Archbishop of Juba, and the Rt. Rev. Peter Gai Luai Marrow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. In a statement released following the 2016 meeting, the Vatican press office said: “In the context of the tensions that divide the population to the detriment of coexistence in the Country, during the meeting with the Holy Father it was acknowledged that good and fruitful collaboration exists among the Christian Churches, who wish primarily to offer their contribution to promoting the common good, protecting the dignity of the person, protecting the helpless and implementing initiatives for dialogue and reconciliation.” Archbishop Deng told Anglican.Ink at the time, that he had written to Lambeth Palace asking Archbishop Welby to attend too. A spokesman for Archbishop Welby last week told AI they were looking at the logistics of the visit, and could not comment further at this time. The French newspaper, Le Croix, reports Vatican officials hope to add a visit to the Congo-Kinshasa to the pope’s Sudan itinerary — and that Francis was making a special outreach to the African churches in the coming year.