[Anglican Communion News Service] An unprecedented ecumenical “pilgrimage of peace” will see the first joint visit of a pope and an archbishop of Canterbury when they join the moderator of the Church of Scotland in South Sudan in July. Archbishop Justin Welby, Pope Francis and Moderator Iain Greenshields will visit South Sudan from July 5 to 7.
South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, having gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011. It continues to suffer from the effects of civil war. The churches of South Sudan have worked together in pushing for peace, including holding five days of negotiations in 2018, led by the Anglican Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, which led to a resumption of peace talks.
The three leaders will use their visit to push for peace and solidarity. The joint visit by leaders of Roman Catholic, Anglican and Reformed traditions is the first trip of its kind and follows a retreat at the Vatican in 2019 for South Sudan’s political leaders, which was hosted by Pope Francis and led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.