[Anglican Communion News Service] An ecumenical spiritual retreat led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis at the Vatican ended April 11 with Pope Francis kissing the feet of South Sudan’s political leaders. The unprecedented two day retreat was organized in an effort to support the country’s fragile peace deal. The political leaders present at the retreat included South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and opposition leader Vice President Riek Machar. The two are expected to form a national unity government under a fragile peace deal designed to end six years of civil war in the world’s newest country.
Pope Francis shocked the church and political leaders present at the retreat in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the official Vatican guest house which is also home to Pope Francis, when he broke off from his prepared remarks to make a personal plea to Sudan’s political leaders.
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