Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby may undertake their much anticipated, but delayed joint trip to South Sudan in “the next few months” to encourage peace in a country still recovering from a bloody civil war and a humanitarian crisis.
“God willing, sometime in the next few months, perhaps year, we will go and see them in Juba, not in Rome, and see what progress can be made,” said the head of the global Anglican Communion on Feb. 6, referring to South Sudan’s leaders.
“That is history,” said Welby of the likely trip that will mark the first time the two ecumenical leaders have traveled together in such a capacity.
Francis and Welby had sought to visit the war-torn country in 2017, although the country’s violent conflict and deteriorating conditions had foiled those plans.
During his Feb. 6 remarks at an arts festival in Belfast, Ireland, Welby recalled a 2019 retreat at the Vatican where Francis met together with both the South Sudanese president and the country’s rebel leadership.